24th February 2021  
A new UEHP Board ready
for action
It is a great pleasure to present, in this edition, the newly elected Board that I have the honour to preside. It is, for me, a fourth mandate as UEHP President and I could not be more humbled by the trust placed in me. During these challenging times, it is a privilege to work with such an outstanding team. A team eager to work with two Vice Presidents, Oscar Gaspar, President of the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP) and Jens Wernick, from BPDK, the German member federation, a Lawyer and health system specialist. For this mandate the Board also welcomes new members: Piotr Gerber (Poland), Cristian Hotoboc (Romania), Stefan Günther (Austria) and Kostas Stergiopoulos (Greece).
The challenge is to support efforts towards the COVID-19 crisis by sharing best practices in EU27 regarding hospital cooperation. All our efforts are oriented towards the severe medical conditions in ICUs. The private hospital sector is also a collaborating partner in the vaccination process. The Europe of Health is becoming a reality.
I would like to quote Mario Draghi, Italy´s new Prime Minister and former ECB President who recently said: “Outside of Europe there is less Italy” and “there is no sovereignty in solitude.” It is true that his words concerned his own Nation, but it applies equally well to all of us. In EU we trust!
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
UEHP presents its 2021-2023 Board members
Dr. Paul Garassus
Dr Paul Garassus is a medical doctor, a neurologist by training and an economist. He is President of UEHP since 2015, re-elected this year for the fourth time. He is also General Secretary of the French Health Economics Society (SFES) and President of the Scientific Council of BAQIMEHP (Institute for quality and economic analysis for the private health sector). He represents the private hospital sector at the European level since 2008.
His teaching, training and research activities, in collaboration with several universities and institutions, are devoted among others to the themes of health financing, health economics, risk management education, healthcare innovation, quality and technology assessment.
He participates in the work of medical and industrial health professionals on the financing and regulation of health systems in Europe. His publications deal with recent developments in Europe concerning hospital structures, private investment in healthcare and market access in France.
Invited to major international meetings, Dr. Paul Garassus is in direct contact with EU officials and policy makers, health economics academics and the industry. The recent international developments enforced the need to develop connections at the European level to share best practices, incentives for quality in hospital payment reforms and more recently quality of working conditions in Health.
Jens Wernick
Jens Wernick is a lawyer and founder of his own law firm in Munich. For more than 25 years, Jens Wernick has advised hospitals, doctors and other health care providers on all legal aspects of medical and business activities.
Among his main areas of expertise: advising and representing hospitals, legal forms of hospitals, privatisation and conversion of hospitals into private legal forms, reorganisation of hospital companies, including assistance in insolvency proceedings under funding law, representing hospitals in labour law matters, in particular in the drafting of chief physician service contracts, advising and representing physicians in private practice on the transfer of medical practices. Jens Wernick worked on many publications, in particular on process cost accounting in hospitals, on the reorganisation of hospitals and on risk management.
From 2001 to 2006, he was part-time Managing Director of the Association of Private Hospitals in Bavaria. Since 2006 he is an active Board member of the European Association of Private Hospitals (UEHP), and is currently UEHP Vice-President.
Oscar Gaspar
Oscar Gaspar has a degree in economics and a postgraduate degree in public management. He began his professional activity in investment and commercial banking. He was Chief of Staff for the Portuguese Secretary of State for the Budget
Oscar Gaspar worked as Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister from 2005 to 2009 and Secretary of State for Health from 2009 to 2011. For two years and until August 2016, he was External Affairs Director of Merck Sharp & Dohme - Portugal.
Oscar Gaspar is currently the President of the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP), member of the Board of the Confederation of Portuguese Business (CIP) and Vice President of the National Strategic Health Council of CIP.
He is a member of the Economic and Social Council (CES), of the National Health Council (CNS) and of the National Public Health Council (CNSP). He is a member of the Gilead Genesis Program Jury. He is also vice-president of the European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP).
APHP has 62 members which represent more than 90% of the private hospital sector in Portugal. APHP celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2021. In Portugal there are 119 private hospitals, 108 public hospitals and 3 hospitals in public-private partnership (PPP). The evolution of the private hospital sector in Portugal has been very significant in recent years.
Carlos Rus Palacios
Carlos Rus Palacios holds a Law degree from the University of Navarra and a business management degree from the San Telmo International Institute. After holding several management positions in companies in different sectors, Carlos Rus entered the health care sector in 2011 and occupied a managing position at the National Federation of Private Clinics.
Later, after the merger in 2016 of the National Federation of Private Clinics and the National Confederation of Private Hospitals and Clinics, Carlos Rus Palacios became the Secretary General of the Alliance of Spanish Private Healthcare (Alianza de la Sanidad Privada Española)-ASPE), a position he is still holding. He is a member of the board of directors.
The Alliance of Spanish Private Healthcare is the employers' organisation that brings together more than 1,300 healthcare entities and represents 80% of the hospitals in our country. Private healthcare employs more than 260,000 professionals and represents 3.5% of our GDP.
Guy Nervo
An Entrepreneur since the age of 18, Guy Nervo graduated from a business school and entered the health care sector at the age of 25. Since 1989, he has been managing the Monaco Cardio-Thoracic Centre, an autonomous private hospital, hyper-specialised for the diagnosis and treatment of cardio-thoracic and vascular pathologies and at the cutting edge of technology, of which he is currently the CEO.
He is also actively involved in the life of the Principality of Monaco through various organisations: Economic, Social and Environmental Council, Federation of Entrepreneurs, Strategic Council for Attractiveness, Pension Fund. He has represented Monaco's private institutions for almost 20 years within the UEHP and is currently its treasurer.
Prof. Gabriele Pelissero
Prof. Gabriele Pelissero is Professor of Hygiene and Healthcare Management at the University of Pavia in Italy. 
He is Member of the Board of directors of the European Union of Private Hospitals (UEHP), Past President of the Italian Association of Private Hospitals (AIOP), President of the Lombardy Cluster for Life sciences, Vice President of the Italian Association of Hospital management Practitioners, President of the "Sanità Futura" Foundation, President of "Confindustria Lombardia Sanità e Servizi", President of the Lombardy Academy for Public Health and Coordinator of the Conference of the University Lecturers in Hygiene. 
He is the author of more than 200 scientific publications in national and international journals, of Scientific Treatises and Monographs on healthcare planning and organization. His scientific activity mainly concerns Epidemiology, Healthcare planning and management, the evaluation of health systems and services. 
Paolo Silvano
Paolo Silvano is an Italian citizen who has spent most of his career abroad, particularly in the USA, in Poland and mostly in France. He holds a law degree from the University of Torino (Italy), and a MBA from the Harvard Business School (Boston, USA).
Upon finishing graduate school, he started working as a strategy consultant for monitor company in Milan, Italy. After a stint at Montedison in Milan, he moved to Paris to work in strategic planning and M&A for Eridania Béghin-Say, a large agribusiness conglomerate present in Europe and North America. He spent 4 years in Poland turning around a vegetable oil and margarine producer in western Poland, and upon completion of that mission returned to Paris/Geneva to head the strategy department of the Cereol branch, later acquired by Bunge.
In 2004 Paolo switched industries completely and joined Générale de Santé in Paris, one of the largest private healthcare providers in Europe, as COO. In 2010 he joined the management Board of the fledgling Vivalto Santé Group in Rennes, where he helped develop the group from 3 to over 30 private hospitals in France.
He currently holds the position of Deputy General Manager of ELSAN, one of the leaders of the healthcare industry in France, where he is responsible for Human Resources, Transformation, IT, and International Operations (2 hospitals in Morocco). He sits on the Boards of FHP-MCO, UEHP, and Relyens.
Grigorios Sarafianos
Gregorios Sarafianos is Manager of the homonymous Sarafianos General Clinic, situated in the centre of Thessaloniki and which has a total capacity of 119 beds. He also operates a Drugstore in the city of Thessaloniki. Gregorios Sarafianos is President of the Pan-Hellenic Union of Private Clinics, an accredited trade union representing the 150 Private Clinics of the country. He is a member of the Board of UEHP since 2015.
Piotr Gerber
Piotr Gerber graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Wrocław University of Technology in 1982. In 1996, he obtained a PhD in Science (doctoral dissertation on the development of industrial architecture). He is involved, as an architect and manager, in hospital renovation projects, including the renovation of historic hospitals. Piotr Gerber is member of the Board of UEHP since many years.
Piotr Gerber graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at Wrocław University of Technology in 1982. In 1996, he obtained a PhD in Science (doctoral dissertation on the development of industrial architecture). He is involved, as an architect and manager, in hospital renovation projects, including the renovation of historic hospitals. Piotr Gerber is member of the Board of UEHP since many years.
Cristian Hotoboc
Cristian Hotoboc graduated from the Academy of Economic Studies, Faculty of International Economic Relations, in 2000. Since 2007, he is President of the Association of Private Medical Service Providers (PALMED). PALMED supports Romanian private health providers, as well as the right of patients to access quality medical services at an affordable price. Since 2010, he is also President of the Alliance for Health in Romania.
Mag. Stefan Günther
Stefan Günther Studied business administration in Graz. He is the Managing Director of Hospitals Projektentwicklungsges.m.b.H. specialized in Finance, human resources, organisational and project development. He is the Secretary General of the Association of Austrian Private Hospitals and sits on the Board of UEHP since 2015.

Kostas Stergiopoulos
Kostas Stergiopoulos is Chief Operating Officer of the Hellenic healthcare group Metropolitan Hospital and advisor of the board of Aktios, a UK based chain, operating nursing home facilities in Europe. He also held several leading positions in the health care sector in Greece.
During his 18-year stay in the US, he served in executive positions in large private and public hospitals and taught statistics and informatics at the University of Texas. He holds a MBA in Business Information System, and degrees in Psychology and Mathematics from the University of Texas at El Paso. He was recently trained as a DPO for the General Data Protection Regulations.
Kostas Stergiopoulos sits on the Boards of the Greek Private Hospital Association and of UEHP.
Dr Andrzej Sokolowski
Dr Andrzej Sokołowski is Doctor of medicine and internal medicine specialist. He is founder and Chairman of the Board of the Polish Private Hospitals Association (OSSP) established in 2002, and founding member of the UEHP.
OSSP defends since its creation the place of the private hospitalisation in Poland. In October 2017, the Ministry of Health introduced a healthcare reform that led to the constitution of a “Hospital Network”, gathering 593 hospitals financed by public funds in the form of a lump sum. Among the 593 hopitals, 61 are private entities and 30 of them are private hospitals, affiliated to the Polish Association of Private Hospitals (OSSP, UEHP member).
Presentation of the Europe's Beating Cancer Plan by the European Commission
In the occasion of the World Cancer Day, the European Commission presented on 3 February the Europe's Beating Cancer Plan.
With new technologies, research and innovation as the starting point, the Cancer Plan sets out a new EU approach to cancer prevention, treatment and care. It will tackle the entire disease pathway, from prevention to quality of life of cancer patients and survivors, focusing on actions where the EU can add the most value.
Europe's Beating Cancer Plan will be supported by actions spanning across policy areas from employment, education, social policy and equality, through marketing, agriculture, energy, the environment and climate, to transport, cohesion policy, and taxation.
Four key action areas
The Cancer Plan is structured around four key action areas with 10 flagship initiatives and multiple supporting actions. It will be implemented using the whole range of Commission funding instruments, with a total of €4 billion being earmarked for actions addressing cancer, including from the EU4Health programme, Horizon Europe and the Digital Europe programme.
  • Prevention through actions addressing key risk factors such as tobacco (with the aim to ensure that less than 5% of the population uses tobacco by 2040), harmful alcohol consumption, environmental pollution and hazardous substances. Additionally, a ‘HealthyLifestyle4All' campaign will promote healthy diets and physical activity. To prevent cancers caused by infections, the Cancer Plan's objective is to vaccinate at least 90% of the EU target population of girls and to significantly increase the vaccination of boys by 2030.
  • Early detection of cancer by improving access, quality and diagnostics and support Member States ensuring that 90% of the EU population who qualify for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings are offered screening by 2025. To support achieving this, a new EU-supported Cancer Screening Scheme will be put forward.
  • Diagnosis and treatment through actions to ensure better integrated and comprehensive cancer care and addressing unequal access to quality care and medicines. By 2030, 90% of eligible patients should have access to National Comprehensive Cancer Centres linked through a new EU Network. In addition, a new ‘Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment for All' initiative will be launched by the end of 2021 to help improve access to innovative cancer diagnosis and treatments and a European Initiative to Understand Cancer (UNCAN.eu) will help identify individuals at high risk from common cancers. 
  • Improve quality of life of cancer patients and survivors, including rehabilitation, potential tumour recurrence, metastatic disease, and measures to support social integration and re-integration in the workplace. A ‘Better Life for Cancer Patients Initiative' will be launched, focusing on follow-up care.
In addition, to support new technologies, research and innovation, a new Knowledge Centre on Cancer will be launched to help coordinate scientific and technical cancer-related initiatives at EU level. A European Cancer Imaging Initiative will be set up to support the development of new computer-aided tools to improve personalised medicine and innovative solutions.
Next steps
On World Cancer Day, 4 February, the Special Committee on Beating Cancer of the European Parliament has discussed the plan with Health Commissioner Kyriakides from 16.45 to 18.45 (live streaming).

Invitation - European Alliance for Value in Health - Network Event

This will be the first virtual network event of the European Alliance for Value in Health (EAVH)
UEHP is a member of this newly created European Alliance aiming at creating a platform for discussion and cooperation among stakeholders on the importance of a shift towards Value Based Healthcare.
This network event is the opportunity for you to:
  • Learn more about the mission, vision, as well as partners of the EAVH and how to best leverage this platform in your day-to-day work
  • Join the discussion on how to build value-based, sustainable and people centred health systems in Europe
  • Get inspired by and network with the EAVH partners and their members
How can you register for this virtual event?
Participation is reserved for the EAVH partners and their members (by invitation only). Joining in the event is free of charge.
Registration is required: please follow this link to register by 26 February 2021.

EU Member States’ rules on health data in the light of GDPR
The study finds that while the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) lays down horizontal directly applicable rules in all Member States, there remains variation in the range of national-level legislation linked to its implementation in the area of health. This has led to a fragmented approach in the way that health data processing for health and research is conducted in the Member States. This can negatively impact cross-border cooperation for care provision, healthcare system administration, public health or research.
To ensure that European healthcare systems can make the best possible use of health data and to support the development of the European Health Data Space, a number of legal and operational issues need to be addressed in a multi-faceted approach. The study identified potential future EU level actions, including stakeholder-driven Codes of Conduct as well as new targeted and sector-specific EU level legislation.
In addition to legal requirements and governance, the study also points to the need for a more harmonised approach across the Member States when it comes to technical infrastructure, technical and semantic interoperability.
Data quality and acquisition, digital skills and capacity-building for primary and secondary use of health data were also areas identified where a harmonised approach could be beneficial.
The study goes on to highlight that co-operation between the EU, Member States and relevant stakeholders is important, with a particular focus on the interests of patients. The study specifies that they should be supported as active agents in their own health and care, with full capacity to exercise their health data related rights. In conclusion, the development of the European Health Data Space, including specific legislation to be adopted to complement the proposal for a Data Governance Act, is believed to offer the ideal opportunity to build upon the suggestions outlined in the study.
In addition, it is believed to ensure that health data can be used to promote better patient care, more resilient healthcare systems and stronger collaborative public health protection and healthcare research across the European Union. 
The objective of the study was to examine and present the EU Member States’ rules that govern the processing of health data in light of the GDPR. The aim was to highlight possible differences and identify elements that might affect the cross-border exchange of health data in the EU for healthcare or for research, innovation and policy-making, and examine the potential for EU level action to support health data use and re-use. 
We excel in times of crisis
By Oscar Gaspar, president of the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP)
It seems that Jean Monnet's prophecy continues to be true: "“Europe will be forged in crises and will be the sum of the solutions adopted for those crises". In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic threw Europe -all of Europe and, indeed, the whole world -into the worst health crisis of the last 100 years, with many social and economic consequences.

In the immediate aftermath, still in shock, unilateral action prevailed (there was talk of diversion of ventilators, of a ban on exporting medicines, of speculative PPE purchases, etc.) but thankfully, we soon realized that the problem was widespread and that together we would solve it better. The pandemic had waves and did not reach all countries at the same time, which made it possible to learn from others and adjust resources as needed.
As far as Portugal is concerned, the first wave was relatively benign, the second one hit us in October in the north of the country and shortly thereafter we entered this tougher phase where since mid-December we have had several days with more than 1,000 new cases per million inhabitants. This is a time of great tension on the Portuguese healthsystem, with an unprecedented number of hospitalized and ICU patients.
Portugal began this crisis with some fragile conditions, namely a marked ageing and dependence of the population and an installed health capacity below the European average (in terms of beds, ICUs,and nurses per 100 000 inhabitants).
In a particularly difficult situation, the entire system is fully involved in the health needs of citizens. In Portugal there is an ideological bias against private participation in healthcare, but in a country with limited resources it is even more essential that no capacity is wasted.
From the outset, Private hospitals have been available to participate in the national fight against COVID-19 and to collaborate with the NHS under the terms that the authorities deem appropriate. In addition to the provision of equipment and the provision of hospitals and complete wards, we are receiving patients (COVID and non-COVID) from the NHS and there are operating theaters being used by medical teams from public hospitals.
After some weeks during which some tried to alarm the population with ideological arguments, the Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, was adamant when, while visiting a private hospital, he said "I would like to say a word of thanks here today, because the agitation of the political debate is one thing, but reality is another. Since March we have been in contact, we have been working together, and the NHS, private hospitals,the social sector, and the Armed Forces, have been mobilized whenever necessary to respond to this pandemic “.
The crisis ended up creating relationships, ending taboos,and getting people to work together. As President Joe Biden said a few days ago: "we are not talking about politics, we are talking about saving lives".
Likewise, we witnessed a movement of international solidarity with Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, and Spain offering to treatPortuguese patients, if necessary.
On February 3rd, Portugal received the support of a medical team composed of 26 German health professionals. This is an example of collaboration between 2 friendly countries, but also collaboration between sectors because German professionals came to treat patients from public hospitals, but it was a private hospital that, at the request of the Ministry of Health, welcomed them. In the words of the private hospital, "for Luz Saúde, this is a moment of absolute commitment to the country, to the Portuguese people and to the national health system".
As the Portuguese Minister of Health has just stated, “There are many lessons that will come out of this pandemic and the need to work side by side is one of them. If it were not for our joint ability to speak to each other, to get organized, to build bridges, we would certainly not have been able to address the needs of so many patients and families”.
The Portuguese philosopher José Gil wrote an essay a few days ago calling for unity “Because only united will we be able to resist and, despite all the losses and wounds, perhaps come out stronger from this catastrophe”.
We are learning from this lesson and, in Portugal as in Europe, we want to get out of this pandemic stronger, with more integrated, accessible,and sustainable health systems.
Asklepios, a strong partner during the pandemic
How does a large private hospital group like Asklepios react to the pandemic and what measures have been taken to ensure health care?
The pandemic in March and April 2020 surprised us in every respect, especially in its severity and duration. Accordingly, we were initially unprepared and the first few weeks were very stressful for us, not so much in terms of the mass influx of patients, it was more in the provision of personal protective equipment for our employees. We also had to protect other patients from the spread of the virus.
Prof. Dr. Christoph Herborn, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Asklepios and responsible for international relations.
We developed different procedures to reprocess protective equipment, for example. The colleagues from the purchasing department found many new ways and possibilities to replenish our stock and inventory of respirators, disinfectants, surgical gowns, etc. and to protect ourselves against possible infections.
It was a very big challenge, but we mastered it well.
The number of patients normally cared for in hospitals has dropped sharply during the pandemic period. How do you experience this situation as Medical Director of the entire Asklepios Group?
On the one hand, the fact that many patients have reconsidered seeking medical services at all because of the pandemic is worrying. Both emergency cases and elective treatments have dropped sharply during this period.
We were able to overcome the impact of the second wave and the significantly higher number of patients we had to treat in our hospitals in November and December by introducing the second and noticeable lockdown, which we have now had in Germany since December. That has at least meant that our hospitals would not be impacted exclusively by the Corona business.
We have a number of Covid patients in our Group, around 400 patients at present, who are being treated as inpatients. Of those, 20% require intensive monitoring, including many elderly people. We notice that the utilization of inpatient services has decreased significantly compared to the times before. After the first wave, we had a high number of patients with different diseases, but a big rush did not happen as expected. This means that the services that were missing could not be compensated.
What does that mean from an economic point of view?
We have been supported by politics. Some hospitals in Germany have been given a financial injection in the form of a "free stay" flat rate. It has been paid for patients who did not come to the hospitals in the 2019 and 2020 annual comparison, so that in fact, although the number of patients cared for was significantly lower, at least partial compensation for the loss of revenue was ensured. However, that was nowhere near adequate.
What about testing and the vaccination campaign?
Asklepios has its own laboratory in Hamburg where we can do PCR testing. At Asklepios, we have started to sequence patients who have evidence of covid-19 disease in PCR diagnostics separately as well. We work with external laboratories such as the University Hospital in Hamburg or the Charité in Berlin.
With regard to the vaccination campaign, the hospitals in Germany have been urged to vaccinate their own employees themselves. However, there will also be cases where we vaccinate our patients who have been with us for a long time, e.g. in geriatrics or psychiatry. However, it is not planned at the moment.
Since mid-December, delivery robots have been rolling through the Hamburg district on behalf of the Asklepios major laboratory Medilys. To what extent does such a pandemic also represent an opportunity to change practices?
With the Starship robot, we have indeed broken new ground in diagnosing patients - a test kit is sent home and collected by robot. During the pandemic, we have definitely seen that there is an interest in participating in video consultations, but also in teleconsultation or the general use of digital solutions. Digitization has definitely experienced a boost at Asklepios, an uptake that we didn't have before. In general, the willingness to engage with such processes is significantly higher than it was before the pandemic.
Will private hospitals in Germany emerge stronger from this pandemic?
Private clinics have been able to show that they are reliable partners in healthcare and are prepared to provide relevant intensive care capacity quickly and unbureaucratically, protecting and providing good care not only for patients but also for employees. Accordingly, I believe that the reputation of private hospitals as a whole is benefiting from the crisis and that our hospitals are perceived as elementary building blocks in the provision of healthcare in Germany.
However, the reputation of private hospital operators in Germany has unfortunately not always been very good. Here, too, we will have to wait and see whether we will see a noticeable change.
9 March 2021
Virtual network event of the European Alliance for Value in Health (EAVH)