Thursday, 28th November 2019  
Cybersecurity once again
A severe cyberattack occurred in France hitting the University Hospital in Rouen. All information systems were blocked to maintain patient safety and privacy. What we all dreaded is now a terrible reality. At a time of major digital transformation, revolutionizing healthcare delivery, each weakness appears to be a step backwards. No firewalls are entirely effective against malware and/or ransomware.
Cybersecurity has become a top priority in information security risk management in hospitals. This issue will be discussed during UEHP next Workshop which will be held in Brussels on the 22 January 2020 in collaboration with our Partner SHAM and with the participation of European Experts coming from the biggest European Private Hospitals Groups.
The situation is critical, and safety must be guaranteed in our everyday work. An efficient hospital must be safe. UEHP supports all initiatives and training useful to healthcare professionals. We know that the new DGSANTE Commissioner Stella Kyriakides will be at work soon, initiating a new deal with all Health stakeholders for the future in Europe. We hope for a positive approach embracing innovative proposals by the private sector we represent.
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
2nd Workshop on Risk Management, 22. January 2020
The European Union of Private Hospitals is organising a WORKSHOP on RISK MANAGEMENT, in close partnership with SHAM - Hospital Mutual Insurance Company – European leader in hospital risk. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, 22nd January 2020, in Brussels
During this one day session, participants will benefit from a selective panel of experts and counterparts to foster active contribution, interactivity, mutual thinking and share lessons learnt from various experience and concrete actions.
Building on the successful first edition held in Brussels in November 2018, we conceived the second edition of the workshop with a strong focus on interactivity and the exchange of experiences among countries with three group workshops around different themes:
  • Healthcare Associated Infections
  • The healthcare professional crisis
  • Use of healthcare data to reduce risk
You are cordially invited to attend the event and join the debate. On one hand, we strongly believe that your experience, knowledge and activity could be a valuable contribution to the discussion. On the other hand, the workshop will be the occasion for you to learn more about the latest trends on Risk management in Europe, as well as to network with other top European Hospital Managers and discuss about your own experiences, problems and best practices.
Please find here the preliminary programme
Please note that it is a full day event and that the registration fee (250€) includes
  • full day conference
  • coffee breaks and lunch
  • networking dinner to facilitate contacts between participants and speakers which will be held in Brussels on the night before the conference, 21st January at 20.00h.
Interested? Please register HERE
Do not hesitate to contact our Secretary General, Ms Giannico, (secretarygeneral@uehp.org) for any further information you may need. Please spread the invitation to your own members and contacts.
Payment for quality (IFAQ), technical arbitrations become also political
Dr Paul Garassus interviewed in Dialogue Santé, newspaper intended for medical doctors working in French private hospitals, edited by the French Federation of Private Acute Hospitals (FHP-MCO)
Technical arbitrations become also political
We are all expecting a healthcare-financing reform which includes quality indicators and gives meaning to a global payment. Even though this principle is legitimately considered virtuous, practical applications remain technically complex to implement. Discussions within the IFAQ technical group of DGOS (French Health Ministry Unit), where I have been an FHP-MCO (French Federation of Private Acute Hospitals) expert for the past five years, mainly focus on the relevant elements to be included in health financing. This group provides a forum for exchange of ideas and we often find consensus on the method but clearly arbitrations belong to the ministry. However, I note in this group a common culture of dialogue and joint development.
We have much evolved since the initial choice of process indicators adding outcome indicators, and even elements concerning caregivers, for example the quality of life at work (QLW) whose impact is indisputable on the overall care delivery. For each indicator, both its relevance and its capacity to be collected must be considered. The indicator must be robust and reliable, so a fine "metrology" is required. The goal is to combine these two approaches to build the most appropriate tool possible. My mission - and motivation as a doctor at the service of care - is to spur this technical group to go even faster and further, both on the stabilization of a model recognized by all, as well as in its capacity to allow a payment that effectively rewards the quality of care. With Baqimehp, we have 20 years of shared experience in the field of hospital quality, but it must be said that these choices remain technically difficult.
This shift from quantitative to qualitative / quantitative mix is extremely stimulating, it is a concrete objective that healthcare providers are financially rewarded for the quality of their commitments. This is also the approach of most of the reforms under way in other European countries that I have been observing as President of the European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP) since our participation in the European project "Patient Safety and Quality "(PaSQ). It is what everyone is seeking. Germany for example, has developed 60 indicators, a listing in my opinion, too complex.
This panel of experts from the technical group, initially limited to methodological issues, is now used by policymakers as part of a global reflection, because once the share of health financing becomes significant, technical arbitrations coincide with the economic stakes of health policies. My position is therefore to better inform our Federation on these methodological issues, so that FHP-MCO can make the necessary decisions.
Dr. Paul Garassus, President of the European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP), Chairman of the Baqimehp Scientific Council, Expert FHP-MCO in the IFAQ technical group at DGOS.
OECD releases its report Health at a Glance
OECD has published this year’s edition of Health at a Glance, with a number of comparable statistics on health status, quality and outcomes of care, and expenditure from the OECD countries.
Joint Call on Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention and Control
In cooperation with Health First Europe, UEHP launched the Joint Call on Healthcare-Associated Infection Prevention and Control, in the framework of the World Antibiotic Awareness Week organised by the World Health Organisation.
The document has been prepared by Health First Europe (HFE) with the support of all its members (UEHP sits in the Board of HFE) and it is the result of a collaborative work done by all stakeholders in Brussels calling on the EU institutions to act now by proposing a set of recommendations to EU policy makers.
UEHP was also invited by ECDC, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, to the official launch of the European Antibiotic Awareness day in Stochkolm. The event included an opening by Vytenis Andriukaitis, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, as well as key note speeches and panel discussions with invited governmental institutions, professional and patient organisations, country representatives and media. For more information
Every infection prevented is an antibiotic treatment avoided! Share our call with your members to ensure safer care in Europe!
2nd Edition of the EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain
Last 6th November 2019, UEHP attended the Award Ceremony of the 2nd Edition of the “EU Civic Prize on Chronic Pain - Collection of good practices”, organised by Active Citizenship Network (ACN) in the framework of the SIP 2019 symposium
For the second consecutive year, UEHP supported the initiative and was member of the jury panel evaluating the most innovative projects for the following categories:
  • patients' empowerment
  • innovation
  • clinical practicies
  • professional education
With the aim to continue giving evidence on existing good practices in several European countries in terms of struggle against pain, this second edition allows ACN to give continuity to the successful collection of good practices in the struggle against pain started in 2015 and expanding the “agora” of operators of good practices on pain, encouraging the exchange of experiences among health professionals, healthcare providers, Institutions, civic associations and patient advocacy groups.
UEHP believes fighting against chronic pain is an important challenge to tackle, not only for acute care patients but also for rehabilitation and post-care treatments.
This is why we fully supported this initiative from the very beginning and we will continue doing so in order to encourage the exchange of experiences between professionals and patients' associations and raise awareness among institutions about the need to identify chronic pain as a priority in health policies and programs at EU and national levels.
UEHP speaks about « green hospitals » at COCIR 60th Anniversary
Last 14th November, UEHP was invited to speak at the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of COCIR, the European Trade Association representing the medical imaging, radiotherapy, health ICT and electromedical industries.
The two-day COCIR celebration was a unique opportunity to understand progress and innovations made by COCIR members in various sectors covered and understand its vision and plans for the future in the past 60 years.
Society has benefitted hugely from advances in medical technology in the last 60 years and COCIR members have provided the engine for driving this innovation.
The event marked the value and importance of this technological progress and brought together the viewpoints and perspectives of patients, clinicians, academia and industry.
UEHP was invited to contribute to the session “The Circular Economy & Global Sustainability” where our Secretary General, Ms Giannico, had the chance to bring the voice of the private hospitals to the debate by presenting the latest developments in the shift toward the “green hospital”, a hospital which is able to keeping up with climate change while assuring the highest quality and safety of treatments to the patients.
COCIR also launched its latest paper "European Health Data Space: Towards A Better Patient Outcome" during the event. Download the paper here
UEHP at EFPIA “Connecting Healthcare Debate”
Last 5th November UEHP participated as a speaker in the “Connecting Healthcare Debate” organised by EFPIA, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, with the aim to explore how the election of a new European Parliament and the nomination of new Commission leadership will shape 2020 and beyond.
The Mission Letter from EU President-elect Ursula von der Leyen to Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner-designate for Health, has identified some key challenges facing healthcare in Europe. It’s clear that no one can address these alone and that cooperation is needed among stakeholders in the health sector.
The event brought together patients, policymakers, health professionals, hospitals and industry to share aspirations for the future and to discuss how we can all collaborate to deliver more for patients’ care across Europe. It highlighted the many areas where ambitions overlap as well as issues where further dialogue is needed to chart a way forward.
Our Secretary General, Ms Giannico, brought the voice of private hospitals in Europe to the debate, with a focus on circular economy and the transition towards to “green and smart hospital”, the promotion of e-health data in research and patient care and the importance of investing in prevention. Ms Giannico also highlighted the importance to seize control of EU patients’ data from global tech titans and the need to keep European patients’ data in Europe.
European Health Tourism Industry Summit 2019
Last 20th November, UEHP attended the European Health Tourism Industry Summit 2019, organised at the European Parliament in Brussels.
With the objective of gathering key European health tourism leaders and policy makers and discuss challenges and opportunities for Europe as a destination of health. The Summit was hosted by the Member of the European Parliament István Ujhelyi, Vice-Chair of the Committee on Transport and Tourism. 
UEHP contributed to the debate by speaking at the roundtable “The future of sustainable European health tourism – where are we now?” together with European Commission’s DG GROW and other important stakeholders coming from the European and international scenario, European SPAs association, IBT Berlin, ETC, Termatalia. UEHP stressed the importance of mobility of patients and freedom of choice as a chance to reduce waiting lists and give on-time healthcare services to our patients, improving the sustainability of our National Healthcare Systems.
FHP calls for the inclusion of the private sector in the Government's hospital assistance plan
After several months of strikes in public emergencies, public hospital staff marched on 14 November in France to denounce an unsustainable economic and social situation and its consequences on their caring activity. The President of the Republic took the floor last November 15 to announce strong decisions and accelerated and intensified reforms for the health sector.
The Federation of Private Hospitalisation (FHP) considers that the current serious difficulties have been caused by previous health policies, particularly under the previous five-year period, with the uninterrupted decrease in hospital tariffs. While the dedication of healthcare teams and health professionals has made it possible to offset these successive rate cuts, today healthcare facilities and caregivers are out of breath. And it's been several years since all professionals sound the alarm.
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Solidarity and Health presented a new "Hospital Plan" on November 20. If several measures announced will have a positive impact for health facilities (especially the revaluation of the hospital budget in 2020), their impact has been wiped out by the announcement that hospital tariffs in 2020 will be much lower than inflation, with a floor rate of 0.2%. With a hospital budget of 2.45% for 2020, an increase in health facility fees with a minimum rate of 1% is possible and necessary.
In addition, many of the measures announced by the government for the public hospital, such as partial repayment of debt or enhancement of career attractiveness, are also needed for private health facilities and their teams.
The FHP recalled in a press release that it wanted private hospital actors, complementary to public hospitals, to also be taken into account: "The commitment of healthcare personnel to serve patients is the same in public and private institutions. Therefore, why should they be excluded from measures aimed at enhancing the attractiveness of careers or boosting investment? In the private sector, due to a lack of resources, the amount of investment has fallen in recent years. And without real financial impetus on our tariffs, it is impossible to build ambitious social policies," explains the FHP president, Lamine Gharbi. 25% of French clinics are in deficit and also need support.
The FHP has therefore asked the Minister of Health to include all hospital stakeholders in measures to improve the professional attractiveness and financial situation of health facilities.
AIOP Giovani delegation makes a study tour in Portugal
An excellent private healthcare system to ensure the sustainability of a universally inclusive system
On the occasion of the 16th Study Tour (October 22-26, 2019), the AIOP Giovani delegation visited Portugal, where it met with local healthcare directors and visited state-of-the-art healthcare facilities in the capital of Lisbon.
The first morning of meetings was dedicated to the presentation of the National Health System (Serviço Nacional de Saúde) by the Secretary General of the Association of Hospital Managers (APAH - Associação Portuguesa de Administradores Hospitalares).
In this sense, it was clarified how Portugal, a country that has about 10 million inhabitants, features a universal healthcare service (Beveridge model), which is for the most part free. It was introduced in 1979, and is financed through a social security system consisting mainly of indirect taxes (60%), for the benefit of the entire population. The amount allocated to support healthcare is approximately 2.75% of gross income, of which 0.8% is paid by the worker, and 1.95% by the employer.
A substantial part of the population then integrates its public coverage with a private expenditure component or with professional insurance schemes. In particular, about 10% of the population participates in supplementary healthcare funds, about 5% resorts to out-of-pocket spending and a further slice of the population, equal to about 25%, benefits from supplementary healthcare coverage from insurance companies and other private healthcare "subsystems" financed by contributions from employers and users. In 2015, public health expenditure amounted to 8.9% of GDP and 71% of total healthcare expenditure, while private spending corresponded to around 29% of the total expenditure.
The ways in which healthcare expenditure is financed have witnessed great changes over the years. In this regard, it is important to remember that with the introduction of the DRGs and the cataloging of health services, starting in 1984, a process of managing hospital costs began which led to the abandonment of the criterion of financing the hospitals based on global budgets, adjusted from year to year and, starting in 1990, saw the introduction, first, of a financing criterion based on historical expenditure and then, starting in 2002, of the contract budget criterion assigned according to prospective activity and according to the DRGs.
Currently, the subdivision of the budget allocated to the healthcare sector starts with the central government making an allocation to the Ministry of Health. The latter allocates the said budget among the various regions which, in turn, then divide the amount received among the healthcare and assistance facilities on the basis of the agreements stipulated. Alongside of the public component, there is an active private, profit-oriented sector, whose activities are largely subsidized by the National Health System through agreements that are stipulated to deal with the emergency of the waiting lists and, therefore, to provide citizens with healthcare services within the time limits required by national legislation.
With this mechanism, about one-third of the financial resources of the National Health System are directed to the private sector.
The country's continental hospital network is divided into 68 groupings of healthcare centers (ACES - Agrupamentos de Centros de Saúde) organized in 5 regional health authorities (ARS - Administração Regional de Saúde) which are entrusted with the task of managing the healthcare system on a regional level and, more precisely:
  1. coordinate, guide and evaluate the implementation of national health policy;
  2. implement and verify the provision of healthcare services by primary care centers and hospitals;
  3. coordinate the provision of healthcare services with the private sector and other non-profit organizations;
  4. monitor the quality of the healthcare services provided.
The administration of individual hospitals, on the other hand, falls under the authority of the respective executive branches. The exception to this are the autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira which enjoy greater managerial autonomy of healthcare services, though remaining under the control of the central government.
Therefore, it is a national health service that is regulated, programmed and managed at the central level, which means, however, that the control and coordination of service provision and territorial assistance are delegated to the regional level. In this regard, it is possible to identify the organizational methods and the roles of the different operators active in the local area for each level of care.
Primary care, fully covered by the public sector, is provided through the USF (Unidades de Saúde Familiares), established in 2006 as functional units of the ACES (Agrupamentos de Centros de Saúde). In 2015, 289 USFs were active in the country: multi-disciplinary teams with functional and technical autonomy composed of general practitioners and nurses, who provide primary care on the basis of a contractual framework stipulated with the regional health administration, with the objectives of accessibility, effectiveness, efficiency and quality. Remuneration of the USFs involves a mixed composition of budgets and incentives linked to the achievement of set objectives. In this sense, the role played by the USFs, which currently assist 52% of the population, in taking charge of chronic patients is becoming increasingly important.
Acute care is provided in hospitals. There are five categories of hospitals in Portugal:
  1. Hospitais EPE (Empresas Publicas Empresariais): entirely publicly funded hospital facilities subject to direct control by the Ministry of Finance and Health.
  2. Hospitais SPA (Sector Público Administrativo): public hospitals subject to supervision and monitoring by the Ministry of Health, managed with a business approach and an organizational structure that is divided into management and cost centers.
  3. Hospitals based on public-private partnerships. This category of facilities stems from the need to find resources for the sustainability and improvement of the National Health System. It is interesting to note that, since the early 2000s, the Portuguese health sector has been a pioneer in creating a highly regulated legal framework in the field of public-private partnerships (PPPs). Under the guidance of the Ministry of Health, interventions were undertaken to renew and reorganize the Serviço Nacional de Saúde network, which led to the establishment of partnerships aimed at promoting innovative ways of sharing healthcare risk, starting with new private management experiences for public facilities and the participation of the private sector in all phases of the commissioning of a hospital: planning, construction, financing and management of hospital units of the National Health System. Although the investment and operation of these units are private, access to clinical services is the same as that available for other hospital units in the public sector: users therefore retain the rights and duties envisaged for accessing the National Health Service. As regards the Property Management Authority, payments by the State are based on the clinical production actually carried out by the main lines of activity (e.g. inpatient and outpatient consultations) and on the availability of the Emergency Service. In turn, the remuneration of the building management body is based on the availability of the infrastructure and the support services provided.
  4. Public hospitals managed by non-profit organizations.
  5. Private for-profit and non-profit hospitals.
The Serviço Nacional de Saúde therefore integrates all healthcare services that can be provided in the State: from prevention to diagnosis, from therapy to medical and social rehabilitation. In this regard, Portugal's healthcare policy, with the aim of responding to an ever-increasing demand for health and reducing the occurrence of acute events, and with the consequent overcrowding of Emergency Rooms, is moving to increase prevention activities and take care of patients at the primary care level.
In addition to this, the demographic trend of the population, with an increasing number of elderly and chronic patients, is leading to the creation of solutions for taking charge of these categories of "fragile subjects" that is witnessing an increasingly active role of the private and the social sector, with a view to full integration and support to the public provider. With the intent, therefore, to reorganize assistance on the basis of integrated networks of hospital services for acute care, intermediate facilities and territorial services for chronic illness, rehabilitation and non-self-sufficiency, private operators are taking on an increasingly important role in the panorama of Portugal's healthcare services. This is being achieved thanks to the healthcare policies of a State that allows the complementarity and coordination of functions/services with the public sector and uses the benefits in terms of operational efficiencies, clinical outcomes and speed of response to the citizens' healthcare demand with a flexible supply system and in line with the needs expressed by the territory.
Towards a strong Polish private healthcare sector
The Polish Association of Private Hospitals (OSSP) has released its 4th sectoral report, giving an overview of the position of its member hospitals within the Polish healthcare landscape.
Private hospitals within the “Hospital Network”
In 2017 the principles of hospital financing were changed in Poland. In October, the Ministry of Health introduced a healthcare reform that led to the constitution of a “Hospital Network”, gathering 594 hospitals financed by public funds in the form of a lump sum. Among the 594 hopitals, 78 are non-public entities and 31 of them are private hospitals, affiliated to the Polish Association of Private Hospitals (OSSP, UEHP member). The requirements to be part of the “Hospital Network” (have specific types of wards and/or an emergency service) led automatically to the exclusion of many private hospitals (small, single specialty units…)
Hospitals included in the network have guaranteed access to public financing in the form of a lump sum payment for a four-year period, which allows more stable long-term projections. Hospitals that were not included in the Network (355 entities including 339 non-public Hospitals) can apply for contracts via tenders announced by the National Health Fund, in order to obtain income from public funds (7% of NHF budget).
According to a study on Health Policy "Poland is characterized by the overcapacity of the hospital sector, which is accompanied by deficits in out-patient care provision. Although the hospital network regulation provided financial incentives for hospitals to shift from in- to out-patient services, the new system did not include one-day procedures, which continued to be contracted separately (outside the network) … One of the major controversies concerning the reform’s design and implementation is the lack of any quality of care, health outcomes, and/or efficiency measures in the network inclusion criteria."
In 2019 the Polish Association of Private Hospitals (OSSP) together with the European Association of Private Hospitals (UEHP) started negotiations with international certification companies aimed at the implementation of uniform quality standards for the private hospital sector in the European Union.
Market share Polish Association of Private Hospitals (OSSP)
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health, in 2017 there were 930 hospitals in Poland (public : 58%, private : 38%). Private hospitals associated with the Polish Association of Private Hospitals (OSSP) represented about 5% of all hospital beds in Poland (18% of the total number of hospitals). OSSP private hospitals employed approximately 13% of doctors and 7% of nurses and midwifes.
The mutation of the private hospital sector
The hospital sector is shrinking. This unfavourable phenomenon is confirmed by a decreasing occupancy rate of hospital beds : 51.3% in 2017 versus 65.8% in public hospitals (77 % in average in the EU). Nevertheless, the Polish private hospital sector has the infrastructure, medical equipment and qualified medical personnel to accommodate up to 20% more patients. OSSP private hospitals who participated in a survey confirmed that the average usage of some medical equipment reached 70% only.
In 2017 OSSP private hospitals treated approximately 5% of all patients within planned hospitalisation and 7% of all patients within one-day hospitalisation. The highest increase in the number of patients admitted by OSSP private hospitals was noticed in the area of one-day hospitalisation, where over 3 times more patients were admitted. It correlated with the decrease in the number of hospital beds and shorter in-hospital stays.
The share of public financing in the private hospital sector is decreasing every year
The value of contract with the National Health Fund (NHF) has a significant impact on the revenues of all hospitals including private hospitals. In 2017, OSSP private hospitals received from the NHF contracts 59% of their revenue vs 36% from paid medical services. Since October 2017 with the introduction of the Hospital Network, not all hospitals have a financing guarantee from the NHF. 81% of non-public hospitals are excluded from the programme. From a financial point of view, this reform leads to a reorganisation of medical activities, especially in private hospitals.
Despite the new regulation, 70% of OSSP private hospitals closed 2017 with a profit (versus 45% in 2016). The structure of revenues of OSSP private hospitals over the past few years confirms the development of the sector. Private hospitals gradually increase the scale of their operations. The sector is also being consolidated by large entities such as EMC, Lux-Med. or American Heart of Poland (AHP).
Thousands of British tourists are at risk of having travel insurance policies which only cover public healthcare
Some British companies sell travel insurance policies which include only health services already covered by the British and Spanish state-provided healthcare systems through the European Health Insurance Card, excluding de facto Spanish private hospitals (40 % of hospitals in Spain).
Moreover, those companies are selling healthcare provided by public medical establishments, which is against the law, as they are offering healthcare British citizens are already entitled to and for which they bear none of the costs.
This prevents those tourists from accessing with their travel health insurance Spanish private hospitals and clinics, which in some cases might prevent them from receiving adequate treatment.
Those British insurers are also committing a possible fraud against British travellers who believe that their medical care abroad is covered for all types of healthcare institutions.
In practice
Travel insurance policies require British tourists to have a European Health Insurance Card, so they can be transferred to a public healthcare organisation. When tourists enter a private hospital or clinic, they either bear the cost for private medical services or consult their insurance company, which immediately refers them to public hospitals, alleging that the private healthcare system in Spain is deficient. This is completely untrue, given the high level of international scope of Spanish private health care. The real goal of these practices of attempting to discredit Spanish private medical healthcare is to avoid meeting their responsibilities as insurers.
This situation places the health of British travellers at serious risk, the insurers forcing private hospitals to refer them to a public hospital as soon as possible, sometimes even in cases where a transfer compromises the patient's health.
These practices mean high costs both for the Spanish National Health System (the SNS), which must handle a greater volume of patients, including those who, in theory, could have been treated in private hospitals, and for the British National Health Service (NHS) which must cover the costs of treatments at Spanish public healthcare facilities.
However, it is the Spanish private medical healthcare sector which is most affected if a foreign patient with such an insurance is treated or admitted. Private hospitals are subjected to medical costs, which can be very high on some occasions, and which are neither borne by the patient nor by the insurer. In addition, the private facility is often unfairly requested to pay the cost for transferring the patient and any subsequent healthcare service provided at the public hospital.
ASPE calls for an end to these abusive practices, which affect patients, public and private healthcare systems. ASPE demands that these insurance firms provide consumers with clear information about the coverage included in their travel insurance policies; it is calling for users to sign a specific document regarding the healthcare assistance service and is asking for clear information so that patients, if they decide to go to a private healthcare establishment, know they have to bear the costs of the healthcare service.
Action plan
Among other actions, ASPE intends to file a second complaint with the European Commission, for fraudulent use of the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). In addition, for months, ASPE has contacted different British authorities to inform them of this situation, the illegal enrichment achieved by these insurance companies and the violation of the rights of their citizens.
Within Spain, ASPE requested support from the central government and regional governments to curb this practice. In addition, during the summer a communication campaign has been carried out to defend the Spanish private healthcare from the defamatory tactics used by these insurers with citizens of the United Kingdom. Private institutions have disseminated this information widely to British travelers.
To this end, ASPE has released a dedicated booklet, so that affected patients know their rights. It is distributed by its member institutions, especially in touristic areas. ASPE also launched a website, www.safetraveltospain.com, where travelers can find more detailed information.
Finally, ASPE is considering taking legal actions to prevent Spanish state authorities from passing the costs of transfers and/or medical treatments to private healthcare insitutions.
About ASPE
The Alianza de la Sanidad Privada Española (ASPE) is the business association for the Spanish private healthcare sector. ASPE brings together nearly 600 private healthcare organisations and represents more than 75% of hospital centres. The main aim of the association is to defend, represent and foster the common objectives of its members, to promote the private medical healthcare sector and to offer services and activities which are of use and interest for private healthcare organisations. https://aspesanidadprivada.es/
2 December
UEHP Board Meeting
11-13 December
FHP annual congress and Awards
22 January
UEHP - SHAM Workshop on Risk Management
31 January
UEHP General Assembly