29 October 2021  
Quality First
We observe strong trends towards reinforcing the cooperation between European Member States after the COVID-19 crisis. We know that the European Commission is clearly involved in sharing experiences, and new forces are engaged. The budget dedicated to Health was significantly increased by recent decisions. HERA and EMA are certainly the best examples.
UEHP also shared experiences during our recent Workshop What have we learnt from the health crisis to reinforce our resilience? organized in collaboration with our Partner SHAM– European Insurance and Risk Management. The goal was to maintain a positive but necessary pressure for “the day after”. Although private hospitals seek to continuously provide high quality and safety standards, they still have to face the major challenge of aligning goals and incentives in hospital financial support by European national authorities. The crisis, and it became very clear during our workshop, freed initiatives and reinforced caregiver motivation. Our European expert network concluded that Value Based Medicine is key, and private hospitals will strive to maintain efficiency during this recovery period.
Dr Paul Garassus
President of UEHP
UEHP/SHAM workshop “What have we learnt from the health crisis to reinforce our resilience?”
Last 26 October, the European Union of Private Hospitals and SHAM Relyens (European mutual insurance company specialised in Risk management for healthcare) organised the workshop “What have we learnt from the health crisis to reinforce our resilience?”. 
The event is part of a series of workshops on Risk management organised in close partenership with SHAM with the aim of creating a community of European experts on quality, safety of care and risk management.  
The day was divided into a series of roundtables focusing on three main topics:
  • workforce
  • public/private partnerships
  • Risk management in Covid19 times.
Speakers from all over Europe came to Brussels to exchange with the participants on those topics and to share experiences on how they managed their employees, the spaces in the hospitals, the new emerging risks, which partnerships were essential during the crisis, what did we learn from the pandemic, etc. 
We had the privilege to have with us Mr Dirk Van den Steen, Deputy Head of Unit B1 in DG SANTE, who shared with us the European Commission's perspective and presented the work the Commission has done so far to support healthcare stakeholders during the pandemic and the new projects and initiatives for the future with a focus on the Recovery and Resilience Facilities. 
A report of the works will be issued soon.
UEHP hybrid Council meeting
Last 15 October, we held our first UEHP hybrid Council meeting in Brussels and online. 
It was such an immense pleasure to welcome most UEHP members back again in our Brussels office after 22 months!
We had a packed agenda, inspiring discussions, new projects and the launch of our UEHP Factbook 2021. We also had the opportunity to hear from all our members about the situation of COVID-19 and vaccination in the different European countries. The pandemic is not over yet and private hospitals are still on the frontline in the fight against this invisible enemy.
Thank you to those who came to Brussels and those who stayed with us online for two days. 
Private hospitals can be proud of the work done these past months. It is time now to prepare for the next steps and all the members are needed to build the future. See you very soon with new ideas and energies!
UEHP visit to Lisbon
At the invitation of the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP), UEHP President, Dr. Paul Garassus, had the privilege to meet with the Portuguese Health Minister, Marta Temido in Lisbon.
It was a cordial meeting where innovation and quality of care were discussed. UEHP conveyed the necessity of shifting the payment model towards quality of care and outcomes rather than quantity. Equal treatment and cooperation between health providers were also debated.
From left to right:

Oscar Gaspar, APHP President - Marta Temido Portuguese Health Minister - Dr. Paul Garassus, UEHP President
The President also met with Ana Rita Cavaco, President of the National Order of Nurses, who has kindly agreed to participate at the UEHP-SHAM workshop on Risk Management in Brussels.
Communication and collaboration between Health professionals, the current workforce shortages and the difficulties encountered by nurses before and during the pandemic were some of the issues addressed.
From left to right:

Oscar Gaspar, APHP President – Ana Rita Cavaco, President of the National Order of Nurses - Dr. Paul Garassus, UEHP President – Luís Filipe Barreira, Vice-president of the National Order of Nurses
During his visit to Lisbon, Dr. Garassus had also the great pleasure to meet Isabel Vaz, CEO of Luz Saúde, and visit Hospital da Luz Lisboa.
This remarkable and high-tech private establishment combines a highly differentiated hospital, a continued and palliative care unit, a general medicine centre, a residential home for the older population, and a Medical Simulation and Training Centre.
From left to right: Dr. Paul Garassus, UEHP President– Isabel Vaz, CEO Luz Saúde - Oscar Gaspar, APHP President
Dialogue and cooperation among health professionals, stakeholders and health sectors are essential to build a healthier European Union. We thank APHP for making this visit possible.
Commission Work Programme 2022
The European Commission has just released its 2022 Work Programme. 
The Commission plans to deliver on its six main pillars:
  1. The European Green Deal/li>
  2. A Europe fit for the digital age
  3. An economy that works for people
  4. A stronger Europe in the world
  5. Promoting our European way of life
  6. A new push for European democracy
The top priorities for health are:
Cancer screening: Update of Recommendation on cancer screening (non-legislative, Q3)
Revision of the pharmaceutical legislation: legislative, incl. impact assessment, Q4.  
The Work Programme and its annexes were adopted yesterday.
More information and full documents to download here.
HaDEA, a new executive agency to help Europe’s recovery from COVID-19
A new executive agency for digital and health projects has been created in 2021 to help Europe emerge stronger from the COVID-19 pandemic. The European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA), is responsible for the implementation of relevant European Union (EU) financial programmes including the EU4Health programme, the Digital Europe programme and parts of the research and innovation programme, Horizon Europe.
The Health and Digital Executive Agency, also known as HaDEA, manages European programmes and initiatives on behalf of the European Commission. Its mission is to implement actions that strengthen Europe in the domains of health, food safety, digital technologies and networks, industrial capacities and space. HaDEA provides high quality and service-oriented support, with the aim to enable European society to become more healthy, resilient and fair; and European industry to become more competitive. We ensure that the projects funded by the HaDEA deliver concrete results that benefit the lives of all EU citizens and provide the European Commission with valuable input for its policies.
HaDEA addresses the European Commission’s ambition to help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe at its heart, which will be greener, more digital, more resilient and better fit for the current and forthcoming challenges. The expected total budget managed by HaDEA amounts to over €20 billion over the 7-year period of the 2021-2027 long term budget. In particular, the Agency is responsible for the management of parts of five European programmes: EU4Health, Food safety under the Single Market Programme, the Health and the Digital, Industry and Space Clusters under Horizon Europe, the Digital Europe Programme and the Digital part of the Connecting Europe Facility. In addition, it is responsible for the management of the ongoing projects funded by their predecessor programmes (2014-2020 long term budget).
Areas of funding are foreseen to help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe
Eu4Health is the EU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the need for coordinated EU level action to respond to health emergencies. It revealed gaps in foresight, including demand/supply dimensions, preparedness and response tools, as well as weaknesses in health systems. That is why the European Commission is building a Health Union that is both better prepared and addresses long-term challenges such as disease prevention including cancer, access to medicines, and digitalisation among others. The EU4Health Programme provides an unprecedented level of funding: €5.3 billion from 2021-2027. The four overall objectives are:
  • To improve and foster health in the Union
  • To tackle cross-border health threats
  • To improve medicinal products, medical devices and crisis-relevant products
  • To strengthen health systems, their resilience and resource efficiency
HaDEA is implementing the EU4Health annual work programmes. The 2021 work programme includes actions falling under four strands: disease prevention, crisis preparedness, health systems, and digital, with a cross-cutting focus on cancer. The programme provides funding among others to EU countries, health organisations and NGOs. The programme strives to address challenges related to health promotion and disease prevention as well as diagnosis and therapies for cancer, and supports Member States in dealing with cross-border health threats. EU4Health also supports actions related to the availability of and access to medical products and making healthcare systems more resilient, sustainable and efficient, including advancing on their digital transformation.
Types of initiatives from the hospital sector would be most valuable to help rebuild a post-COVID-19 Europe
As hospitals were and still are at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic, they are an essential stakeholder to the Programme. The Commission organises extensive outreach activities with stakeholders to ensure that the views and needs of civil society are duly represented and taken into account. For instance, before the summer, the Commission gathered the views of stakeholders on priorities, strategy & needs in view of the preparation of the Annual Work programme 2022 of the EU4Health programme and beyond.
The priorities define the funding opportunities that are published every year through the financing decision, which is the annual work programmes. We warmly encourage applicants to read carefully the Annual Work Programme to seek funding opportunities. Those are available through the Funding and Tenders Portal. While preparing their proposal, applicants need to consider that the actions implemented need to have an EU added value.
Useful links:
Programmes are specifically dedicated to hospitals and the health sector
To face health threats, access to medicines, medical devices and other health supplies is not sufficient. A strong healthcare workforce, equipped with the necessary skills is also needed. In that sense, EU4Health will for instance, support healthcare workforce training in specific areas. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact their National Focal Points (NFP). NFPs are the national experts for the Health Programme in EU countries and participating countries and they are appointed by their national health ministries. Their role is to assist in Health Programme implementation at national level; Health Programme dissemination of results and information on the impact generated by the Health Programme in their respective countries.
Useful links
From a research and innovation perspective, HaDEA also implements the Horizon Europe Programme, and specifically Cluster 1 ‘Health’ which aims to mainly contribute to four impact areas of the strategic plan: A good health and high-quality accessible healthcare; a resilient and prepared EU for emerging threats; high quality digital services for all and a competitive and secure data-economy.
More specifically, cluster 1 aims to contribute to six expected impacts as set by the strategic plan, which are the destinations of this work programme:
  • Destination 1: Staying healthy in a rapidly changing society
  • Destination 2: Living and working in a health-promoting environment
  • Destination 3: Tackling diseases and reducing disease burden
  • Destination 4: Ensuring access to innovative, sustainable and high-quality health care
  • Destination 5: Unlocking the full potential of new tools, technologies and digital solutions for a healthy society
  • Destination 6: Maintaining an innovative, sustainable and globally competitive health industry
The Horizon Europe Health cluster is mainly implemented through annual calls for proposals for Research and Innovation Actions (RIA), Innovation Actions (IA), Cofund actions, Coordination and Support Actions (CSA), pre-commercial procurement (PCP) actions and public procurement of innovative solutions (PPI), as well as emergency calls for Expressions of Interest in response to emergencies.
Useful links
Public consultation on the revision of the EU's pharmaceutical legislation
The European Commission has published a public consultation on the revision of the EU's pharmaceutical legislation.
This public consultation aims to collect views of stakeholders and the general public in order to support the evaluation of the existing general pharmaceutical legislation on medicines for human use, and the impact assessment of its revision to ensure a future-proof and crisis-resistant medicines regulatory system.
It builds further on the public consultation conducted for the preparation of the Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe of November 2020. The general pharmaceutical legislation sets the main definitions, regulatory incentives and authorization procedures, as well as the manufacturing, authorization and post-authorization requirements for medicines.
The consultation, which will run for twelve weeks, until 21 December, will gather the views from both the general public and stakeholders to support the evaluation of and the impact assessment for the revision of the EU's pharmaceutical legislation.
A major flagship action of the Strategy is the revision of the general pharmaceutical legislation, foreseen for end 2022, which is also being supported by an ongoing study. Other flagship actions of the Strategy focus on Health Technology Assessment, EU Health Data Space, legislation on rare diseases and medicines for children and strengthening the continuity and security of supply of medicines in the EU.
More here.
“Visionen Award” 2021 for exemplary employer branding project
The Association of Private Hospitals in Austria awarded its yearly “Visionen Award (Visions Award)”
Every year, as part of the congress of the Association of Private Hospitals in Austria (VPKA), the Visionen Award is presented for innovative projects in the field of Austrian private and rehabilitation clinics. From the large number of submissions, the independent jury selected three winning projects, which tackled a controversial problem in the healthcare industry as well as borrowing from the gaming and aviation industries: The main prize went to the PremiQaMed private clinics for their trend-setting employer branding project, followed by two Tyrolean companies as second and third place. The Münster Rehabilitation Center took second place with the “ExerG project for patients with age-related falls”, while the Kettenbrücke sanatorium in Innsbruck took third place for its interpersonal skills training for nurses.
1st Price PremiQaMed

From left to right: Mag.a Daniela Brkic (HR PremiQaMed Private Hospitals), Mag.a Julia Zleptnig (HR PremiQaMed Private Hospitals), Mag. Werner Fischl (Managing Director PremiQaMed Private Hospitals)
“The Visionen Award has established itself as an integral part of our VPKA Congress. We are pleased that we are bringing the most exciting, future-oriented projects of our member companies in Austria the upright attention, which in turn can serve as inspiration for others,” says Mag. Christina Hattinger, Managing Director of the Association of Private Hospitals in Austria (VPKA). The award winners were determined by an independent jury made up of the Secretary General of the European Private Hospitals Association UEHP, Ilaria Giannico, FH-Prof. Mag.a Dr.in Roswitha Engel (Department Head Applied Nursing Science FH Campus Wien), and Susanne Nestler (Director Human Resources at voestalpine Metal Forming GmbH).
Exemplary winning project
The three winning projects of the Visionen Award 2021 of the Association of Private Hospitals in Austria are as diverse as the submissions. The main prize went to the PremiaQaMed private clinics for “Employer Branding – Shape.Health.Together”, with which the change in the labor market was addressed and the attractiveness as an employer was strengthened. The burning issues of shortage of skilled workers, cultural change, generational issues and the attractiveness as an employer were analyzed with a focus on the professional groups of doctors, nurses, IT specialists and administrative employees in Vienna, Graz and Salzburg. In addition, their fundamental values and topics were researched and measures for “Shape.Health.Together” were anchored in accordance with various methods.
The unanimous opinion of the jury gave the winning project “a role model also outside of Austria to counteract the shortage of skilled workers in the health sector” as well as the initiation of a “culture change process” and “an effect aimed at the well-being and appreciation of the employees, which serves the entire industry”.
Successful Tyrolean showcase projects
The ExerG project of the Münster Rehabilitation Center borrowed from the gaming industry. The aim of this international project was to develop an innovative digital solution for elderly people at risk of falling, with or without physical disabilities. Using a platform for whole-body video games, so-called exergames, body movements or exercises can be controlled and a simultaneous training of the person's physical and cognitive abilities can be achieved through the combination of game and exercise. The therapeutic effect of the exergames has been proven in numerous studies and is equally suitable for patients who have had a stroke, those with Parkinson's disease or multimorbid geriatric patients. The jury particularly emphasized the "use of digitization, which enables a new approach in the field of treatment and rehabilitation".
Third place in the Visionen Award also went to Tyrol. Interpersonal skills training for nurses (IC care) is the name of the project that was developed by the Kettenbrücke Sanatorium of the Barmherzige Schwestern in Innsbruck together with the Clinic Ludwigshafen in Germany and Lufthansa Aviation Training GmbH. The result was a sustainable training concept that serves to create a safety and error culture. Findings from the aviation training were transferred to clinically relevant situations in the form of a one-day training course and specifically geared to the diverse requirements of nursing staff that the jury particularly liked about this project was the “strengthening of the human factor” and “that the know-how of a completely different branch has been used in the care sector”.
The Association of Private Hospitals in Austria awarded its yearly “Visionen Award (Visions Award)”
Every year, as part of the congress of the Association of Private Hospitals in Austria (VPKA), the Visionen Award is presented for innovative projects in the field of Austrian private and rehabilitation clinics. From the large number of submissions, the independent jury selected three winning projects, which tackled a controversial problem in the healthcare industry as well as borrowing from the gaming and aviation industries: The main prize went to the PremiQaMed private clinics for their trend-setting employer branding project, followed by two Tyrolean companies as second and third place. The Münster Rehabilitation Center took second place with the “ExerG project for patients with age-related falls”, while the Kettenbrücke sanatorium in Innsbruck took third place for its interpersonal skills training for nurses.
2nd place Rehabilitation Center Münster

From left to right: Prim. Univ.-Doz. Dr. Christian Brenneis (Head of Neurology Rehabilitation Center Münster), Dr. Barbara Seebacher (Head of Rehabilitation Research Rehabilitation Center Münster)
The Association of Private Hospitals in Austria awarded its yearly “Visionen Award (Visions Award)”
Every year, as part of the congress of the Association of Private Hospitals in Austria (VPKA), the Visionen Award is presented for innovative projects in the field of Austrian private and rehabilitation clinics. From the large number of submissions, the independent jury selected three winning projects, which tackled a controversial problem in the healthcare industry as well as borrowing from the gaming and aviation industries: The main prize went to the PremiQaMed private clinics for their trend-setting employer branding project, followed by two Tyrolean companies as second and third place. The Münster Rehabilitation Center took second place with the “ExerG project for patients with age-related falls”, while the Kettenbrücke sanatorium in Innsbruck took third place for its interpersonal skills training for nurses.
3rd place Sanatorium Kettenbrücke

From left to right: Benjamin Walder, (DGKP Anesthesia, Sanatorium Kettenbrücke), Mag. Martin Egerth (Lufthansa Aviation Training GmbH), Mag. Andreas Schnöller (Managing Director Sanatorium Kettenbrücke), © Fotostudio Eder
Private hospitals with missions
At the end of September, the French Federation of Private Hospitalisation (FHP) adopted a new signature, placed under its logo: "Hospitals and clinics with missions". Why this approach, and what values and convictions are behind it? In reality, the term "mission" calls into question in more than one way the private hospitalisation sector. It refers, of course, to the French law "Hospital Patient Health Territory" (HPTS) which in 2009 created fourteen public service missions, accessible to health establishments of all statuses.
However, "Missions" in the service of the common good are what make up the daily life of private hospitals and clinics, because of their very purpose: health and care. Welcoming all patients without distinction, accessibility and continuity of care, emergencies, prevention and public health... are the fundamentals of public service. The sustainability of any healthcare structure is conditioned by this duty: to provide a service.
"Mission" is also a reference to the company with a mission, the company seen as an "object of collective interest", as was the title of the 2018 report by Nicole Notat and Jean-Dominique Sénard aimed at redefining the role of the company and its social purpose. Over the years, society's view has evolved, with citizens increasingly considering that companies should be a place for creating and sharing value, beyond economic performance. This report prepared the Pact law carried in 2019 by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno le Maire, which introduced the status of "company with a mission", allowing a company to declare its raison d'être through social and environmental objectives. There are currently around 200 "companies with a mission" in France. The first in the private health sector is the Vivalto Group.
This new signature reflects the identity of our sector, which strives to reconcile the economic efficiency necessary for its long-term survival with the quality of service provided to patients, a condition for "maintaining a dynamic of invention, innovation and collective creation". In a context of health workers shortage, it is also a question of finding motivational levers for professionals, who are anxious to give ever greater meaning to their work. We also strive to promote transparency and evaluation, through the quality of our acts and practices, and our certification results. Finally, hospitals and clinics must be at the heart of the city and in touch with societal issues. One example, among many others, is the recent partnership between FHP and the Women Safe and Children Institute, to meet the care needs of women and children who are victims of domestic violence.
Recently, the action taken by the private healthcare sector in the fight against the virus, and today in vaccination, has reduced the compartmentalised vision of health provision and consolidated recognition of the role of hospitals and clinics with missions. These achievements of the crisis deserve to be perpetuated, not only for our profession, but also for the benefit of the entire health system.
More Choice More Health by Oscar Gaspar, President of the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP)
As this year marks, not only the 50th anniversary of the Portuguese Association of Private Hospitals (APHP), but also 5 years of my presidency, I thought it might be useful to bring together in a book the various articles that I have written over the years for publication on Health policy and the role of the private sector in terms of access, efficiency, and outcomes (value).
The title of the book is More Choice More Health because it strongly reflects the agenda that our sector defends regarding the reinforcement of investment and participation of private hospitals. More choice for citizens means more health care supply and a system that provides access to care. More healthcare supply requires more investment, the search for better services and solutions, the continuous training of professionals and retention of talent. More health is a right of each one of us, but it is also a call for development, and we believe that the increase of private participation promotes sustainability and the fulfillment of needs.
Reflection and communication are the aims of this book. Just some ideas to share as a contribution for the essential debate about health policies, given that taking a public position is a way to be heard and recognized even by those who do not align themselves with the new healthcare challenges. I had the honour of having the forewords of my book written by Professor Augusto Mateus (former Minister of Economy) and Professor Germano de Sousa (former President of the Portuguese Medical Council), whose thoughts and work strive for the improvement of the health system.
While I am solely responsible for these texts, they are part of the discussion of a new paradigm of Health sustainability in Portugal, in which the private hospital sector is an important pillar. Citizens truly deserve a healthier future.
Oscar Gaspar
For a fair and quality based competition
Your Activity Report 2020 states: "There must be fair competition for all service providers, regardless of their sponsorship". To what extent is competition not fair for Swiss private hospitals?
The annual study conducted by the University of Basel (Prof. Dr. Stefan Felder) on the differences in tariffs and financing in the acute inpatient sector between public and private hospitals (Discrimination Monitor) in Switzerland compiles what is revealed year after year under the heading of public services, inflated base prices and other pecuniary advantages: around 94% of the cantons' overt and covert subsidies - over CHF 2.5 billion for the first time in 2019 - are paid to public hospitals.
Dr. Beat Walti, member of the Swiss National Council, President of Ospita - The Swiss Healthcare Companies.
The same picture can be seen in the crisis, as the study shows: many cantons compensate for the shortfalls in hospitals in 2020 under the title of Covid 19 aid: the roughly 830 million francs again flow for the very most part to inpatient service providers that are owned by the public sector. For seven years now, the Discrimination Monitor has been showing the extent of cantonal cross-subsidisation amounting to an average of 2.3 billion Swiss francs annually, with an upward trend. Around 16.5 billion Swiss francs, or over 7,500 Swiss francs of taxpayers' money per family of four, have been used by the cantons during this time to maintain structures instead of using this efficiency potential.
Ospita advocates hospital planning based on quality competition for affordable and cost-controlled health care. How can quality be assessed? Does Switzerland already have a quality assessment tool?
Unfortunately, Switzerland is still a developing country in quality assessment and measurement. The previous joint effort under the name ANQ does not go far enough here. We observe with interest how patient-oriented outcomes are measured and evaluated in other countries. We are convinced that our members need not fear such transparency, on the contrary: the data available so far and the numerous certifications of our members show that many private hospitals are very well positioned in the quality competition.
What proportion of healthcare in Switzerland is provided by private hospitals and what are the future trends?
The association has a total of 130 members. These are mainly inpatient service providers, hospitals and hospital groups - but also outpatient surgery centers, medical chains, etc. Ospita members are employers for around 32,000 professionals and around 7,000 affiliated doctors. In 2019, the total turnover of the members was 6.375 billion Swiss francs. Slightly more than 20% of all nursing days in Switzerland are provided by Ospita members.
The future potential of the sector can be considered good, were it not for overregulation and market distortion, which make further development considerably more difficult. The general overregulation makes it difficult to provide necessary medical services.
1st December, - Brussels
Factbook launch

4th February - Paris
UEHP General assembly