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News

UK care home giant saved from administration – for now

Four Seasons, the UK's second largest care home group, has avoided going into administration at the 11th hour after striking an agreement with its key creditor - a day before it was due to pay a £26m interest payment which it could not meet.

Waterland buys German nursing home operator

Private equity firm Waterland has acquired a nursing home operator with 28 homes and 3,058 beds in southern Germany. We talk to Carsten Rahlfs, partner at Waterland.

Mediclinic – new CEO and break up valuation

In an unusual move, Mediclinic has appointed its chief medical officer Dr Carel Aron (Ronnie) van der Merwe as CEO, replacing Danie Meintjes, who has held the post since 2010. Meanwhile we ask what Mediclinic’s break up value would be? The group is currently valued at £3.95bn on the London Stock Exchange.

Private wing of London NHS hospital set to expand

We hear from reliable sources that the Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in south-west London is putting a management contract out to tender that could see the enlargement of its private wing.
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Insight & Interviews

Interview: Natalie Douglas, CEO, Healthcare at Home

Vetruvian-owned medicalised homecare group Healthcare at Home has been turned round. There are straws in the wind that suggest it might soon be for sale. We talk to CEO Natalie Douglas about the company, which is by far the largest provider of medical care around drugs in the home in UK, and is also active across Germany, Switzerland and Austria. 

Interview: Klodian Allajbeu, CEO of American Hospital, Albania

American Hospital in Albania has five hospitals, a medical centre and a lab. Set up in 2006, it focussed initially on stemming the tide of private patients going abroad for treatment, not on the difficult task of trying to prize money from a public purse that was being spent almost exclusively on public hospitals. That may soon change, however. Healthcare Nova speaks to CEO Klodian Allajbeau to find out more.

Interview: Enrique Samper, CEO, NIMGenetics

Spanish laboratory company NIMGenetics has set its sights on Latam, and says it expects to see massive growth from its newly set-up businesses in the region. Healthcare Europa speaks to founder and CEO Enrique Samper about how he's looking abroad, while facing problems at home.

Interview: Ben Faircloth, Partner, L.E.K. Consulting

Dentistry is flavour of the month in healthcare services with consolidation taking off right across Europe and private equity placing big bets on the concept of national and even multinational chains. Ben Faircloth, who has advised some of the largest players in Europe, tells us what really makes these businesses work and which models are set to prosper.

“Very profitable” Ober Scharrer heading for a sale?

Rumour has it that German ophthalmology chain Ober Scharrer will be sold in the winter. Of course, its CEO Sibylle Stauch-Eckmann couldn’t possibly comment. Nonetheless, she tells us the group now has 5% of the country’s rapidly consolidating eye-care market and a strong pipeline offering further growth.

“We can meet the needs of the baby boom generation with today’s medical capacity”

That is a very bold statement indeed. But Prof Richard Boucherie at the Centre for Healthcare Operations Improvement and Research (CHOIR) of the University of Twente in the Netherlands, reckons it is true. For the past 15 years CHOIR has been helping Dutch hospitals, labs and homecare groups to increase their efficiency through mathematical modelling using operations research methods including queueing theory, optimisation and computer simulation. We interview him on how such an approach can make massive efficiency gains.

Interview: Dr Peter Bazso, Director, Duna Medical Centre, Hungary

The Duna Medical Center (DMC) aims to be the most substantial private hospital in Hungary, with an ambitious building programme, and the only one that covers almost all surgical areas. Healthcare Europa speaks to its director Dr Peter Bazso about its business model, expansion and the wider market in Hungary.
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david@healthcarebusinessinternational.com or call 0207 183 3779.

Reports

Real solutions for retention and recruitment

Recruitment, retention and training are now the primary challenges for the healthcare services industry. The obvious solution to keeping staff - paying more – is no longer working. Private operators around the world are now fishing in a global market that's short of 15m healthcare workers. So what practical solutions are operators putting into force and what really works? We talk to 25 operators from across the world.

MBAs and executive training courses – are they worth the time and money?

You can’t become an expert in healthcare services overnight - but there are courses, MBAs or much shorter executive training courses - which say they can help to transform you or your staff into the next generation of healthcare managers, leaders and entrepreneurs. But can they really do this - and are they good value for money? Where should you send yourself, or your staff, to fill any gaps in knowledge that might be putting the brakes on a career? And does it matter if the management course isn’t focussed on healthcare at all?

Reading the future of the European labs sector

The European diagnostic lab sector in 2016 presents opportunities, but also substantial threats. Apart from seizing market share from competitors, there are four ways that labs can grow sales – consolidation/rationalisation, diversification into new test groups, outsourcing and finally moving into other areas - be that imaging or outpatient specialty care.

The rise and rise of digital primary care

A battle is being fought over England’s 340 million annual GP consultations. As waiting lists rise in the NHS, patients are flowing to a host of digital upstarts. Competition is fierce, prices are low and no one seems to like each other very much! We uncover the story of their race to get ahead.

The changing face of cosmetic surgery in Europe

Cosmetic surgery is en vogue in Europe. France and Germany alone saw over 1m procedures conducted for the first time in 2015. But a growth in popularity doesn't necessarily mean the arrival of a consolidation trend. While private equity groups like Aurelius and Polaris have invested in national chains, the market remains extremely fragmented. In this feature, we take a look at the emergence of new players, find out which treatments are growing and ask several executives in the sector about their plans.

Greek private hospitals: between Scylla and Charybdis

During the peak of the tensions on Greece’s potential exit of the euro in the summer of 2015, private operators told Healthcare Europa of their difficulties to stay afloat in light of a 40% claw-back. Meanwhile, there were reports people could not afford to pay upfront costs and that hospitals were running dangerously low on the supply of basic medical equipment. So has anything changed?

eHealth – changing the role of the insurer – and nudging the insured to get healthy

The health insurance industry faces revolutionary change. eHealth is moving healthcare down the acuity curve, personalising treatment and bringing a new generation of wellness treatments online through mHealth apps. This, in turn, creates data, data that insurers are eager to get their hands on. They increasingly are, by creating their own bespoke apps or partnering with aggregators or popular wellness apps. But, adapting their business models to the data-driven economy, is moving insurers from a passive to an active role in people’s health, and raising tensions with consumer interests.

eHealth: towards paperless healthcare systems

“eHealth is like teenage sex: everyone talks about it, nobody knows how to do it, everyone thinks everyone else is doing it, so everyone claims they are doing it,” was how one attendee at eHealth in Amsterdam used Dan Ariely’s famous take on big data, summing up where the sector is today. There is more than a grain of truth in the jibe. But there is real progress. By 2018, 18 EU member countries are set to go live with the exchange of patient records and e-prescriptions. Estonia, the only country in the world to have a nation-wide Electronic Health Record (EHR) system built its eHealth system for only €10m –the equivalent of €7.50 per head. And Mhealth, remote monitoring and artificial intelligence all promise to transform the sector over the next decade. We investigate progress to date.

NHS evolution presents a new challenge for private sector

The NHS in England is experiencing an unprecedented crisis as funding deficits and waiting times rise. Pressures on the social care industry, where tariffs and costs are tracking divergent paths, are adding to the strain. The solution in the form of a compromise between the Treasury and NHS England guarantees £8bn of extra funding by 2020 in return for efficiency gains of 2-3% a year, leading to new care models that should join services together, improve care and save costs across the system. But what is the role of the private sector in this changing landscape?
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