News About Healthcare Reform


Five things we learnt at the Budapest Private Health Forum

This week HBI attended Portfolio's private healthcare forum in Budapest. We got an update on the country's ongoing insurance reform, the latest consolidation efforts and limp towards digitalisation. Here are our key takeaways: 

Funding change to force Finnish groups back into preventive care

From next year Finland, one of Europe's largest occupational healthcare markets, will change funding structures to incentivise employers to spend more on preventive care and less on medical care. HBI explains the law and looks at how it will affect the market.

Interview: Anders Lönnberg, Politician, Health Care expert, Sweden

Joyously replete with war stories lost and won, Lönnberg, a combative diabetic and social democratic politician has spent the past thirty years fighting for change in health care. So what has he learnt about how health care works? And what is the solution?

Dubai Health Authority finally relaxes rules on telehealth

Two years after Dubai Health Authority (DHA) issued an order regulating telehealth, the department has finally cleared up rules around what the doctor is allowed to do in a doctor-patient teleconsultation. HBI examines how the new regulations will change the market and how they compare to elsewhere in the world.

A poacher turns gamekeeper: Austrian health care reform     

After 19 years as a health care services expert working as an investment banker, analyst and consultant, Martin Brunninger has returned to his native Austria to become director-general for healthcare and social care. In this role, he is responsible for reforming the entire health and social care system under the new reformist conservative coalition government which came to power in December 2017 and is likely to hold power for a few years. We talk to Brunninger about the likely changes and his change in role.

Government won’t win price control battle

The Indian government is unlikely to manage to control hospital pricing, despite its battle over stents and other consumables. And none of the big hospital groups are embracing the government's low-cost scheme to cover 50m families.

Italy to start services in pharmacies

From next year some private pharmacies in Italy will be able to offer basic healthcare services as policymakers hope they become the first point of access.

UK applies €1.5bn band aid to care sector in crisis

The UK government has pledged £1.5bn (€1.6bn) to local authorities' social care budgets in order to tide the care sector over for another year (which includes both nursing homes and homecare). But while councils welcome the funding, a market investor tells us it won't be sufficient to patch up a system in crisis. A provider tells us the amount is in line with what the sector expected but is a tempory solution.

Visualising the crisis in homecare staff

The ratio between nurses and personal carers and populations over 65 tells you a lot about a country's ability to provide adequate homecare. Here we track the number for eight OECD countries. Overall the ratio has dropped.

Tariff cuts and new regulation hit Swiss imaging sector

Regulatory reforms and tariff cuts for diagnostic imaging services in Switzerland have hit the sector hard, more than halving annual revenue growth for the all-private outpatient sector and limiting organic expansion. Yet the impact has still not been as bad as first feared, a source tells us.

Interview: Peter Graf, CEO, Tiohundra

Uniquely, we think in Europe, Tiohundra, an organisation serving a municipality of 62,000, has fully merged social care and health care delivery. Social care (elderly care, disabled care, homecare, psychiatry) and health care (hospitals and primary care) – have been melded in to a single organisation. So what are the learnings? And are we going […]

Share prices plummet at prospect of health insurance ‘ban’ in South Africa

Shares in South Africa's biggest health insurer have plunged 20% since the publication of a new NHI bill which proposes 'banning' health insurance for the vast majority of healthcare funding. Private hospital share values have also taken a nose-dive. HBI speaks to Discovery's CEO and assesses who else might be hit by the changes.

Belgian nursing home bed ratios could halve by 2025

Bed numbers in Belgium are highly regulated and we hear from a mid-market operator that ratios could almost halve by 2025. Is there a solution, and where does this leave the for-profit sector?

Turkey looks to cut imaging over-use

Independent sources tell HBI the Turkish government cut tariffs for imaging by, on average, 5% last year as part of a move to crack down on unnecessary scans.

Private sector preps for second stage of Ukrainian reform

The Ukrainian government has started to unveil how the country's hospital sector will operate when it's added into ongoing healthcare reforms at the beginning of next year. HBI explores opportunities for the private sector.

Japan: Overview of health and care system and LT care insurance

Japan has a large and thriving for-profit elderly care sector and leads the world with its long-term insurance policy that is mandatory for everyone over 40.  We talk to Matt McEnany, a manager at the Japanese think tank Health and Global Policy Institute about the Japanese care and hospital sectors, the direction of reform, the market share of the top five for-profit groups in care and plans to export the Japanese model.

German nurse numbers to improve with reform underway

Three German ministries have come together to tackle the country's nursing staff crisis, proposing "binding measures" to be implemented next year. HBI speaks to a domiciliary care provider which is enthusiastic about these changes, but the legislation has already encountered problems.

NHI bills passed in South Africa and Uganda

South Africa's health minister has plans to put the country's drawn-out NHI bill to parliament within eight months after its recent cabinet approval. Uganda's cabinet, too, has agreed an NHI bill to send to parliament. But many details remain unclear.

Liberal fertility markets attract the for-profit sector

Regulation is key in assessing the viability of for-profit fertility markets, according to a recent report from HBI intelligence written after months of discussion with operators in EMEA. More liberal markets are almost always more attractive markets.

Save millions, increase life expectancy, boost quality – what happens when you integrate care and healthcare

In almost all countries the provision of healthcare (hospitals, doctors) and social services (homecare, social workers, care homes) are siloed in many ways. Often the payors are different. Often, the two sides barely talk to each other. Often cultures are very different - healthcare can be very top down, for instance. But bringing ALL services together should create huge synergies, cost savings and a much stronger sense of community and empowerment.

Insurance scheme launches in Egypt

Egypt has launched its long-awaited universal insurance scheme, giving citizens the freedom to choose between public and private providers. Coverage is being phased in piecemeal. One GCC-based healthcare group has already committed to building two more hospitals in the country.

Amended SOTE law more likely to go through

We hear a diluted version of Finland's SOTE reform remains on the cards, despite its failure to get voted through parliament in its original form. Consultancy Nordic Healthcare Group explains what this means for the private sector, and an expert in Finnish health and social care reform tells us what needs to happen next.
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