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Bright lights for private clinics

Labor health is one of the biggest booming businesses for private hospitals, since major companies started placing special emphasis on corporate health economy.

“Since 2008-2009 even those companies who earlier considered it only a necessary evil started focusing on corporate health preservation,” Dr Gábor Zsolnai, commercial director of Főnix-Med commented. Companies realized that if staff members are struck by a flue epidemic or stress related depression that causes a very measurable drop in productivity for the company.

Apart from corporate healthcare, long term expat residents generate the biggest turnover for private hospitals. “Long-term foreign residents mean a stable and solvent client group for private healthcare service,”  Zsolnai explains. But medical tourists also give grounds for high hopes.

Another factor that contributes to the growth of private hospitals is the poor service of the state healthcare system. Thanks to this, the importance of private healthcare has grown in the past few years, and this tendency is likely to continue. Private hospitals expect that an increased number of people generally dissatisfied with the poor quality of the state healthcare system will choose healthcare services in private hospitals. Főnix-Med is trying to become a “real alternative” as a family healthcare service provider, Zsolnai said.

Market players in general agree that the long-term prospects for the private healthcare industry in Hungary are quite bright. Many people already opt for private medical services, they say.

“Speaking with other private medical facility owners and managers, I constantly hear about how well everyone is doing and how business is growing,” Dennis Diokno, managing director of Firstmed Centers Kft told the Budapest Business Journal. “This growth probably comes from the dissatisfaction with public healthcare.”

Private hospitals have adopted and started promoting a holistic approach in medicine. An increased number of corporate customers turn to private hospitals in order to support their employees in dealing with stress-related health problems. These requests imply that not only the symptoms should be treated, but primarily the root of the problem.

Private hospitals are very optimistic about the next year and mid-term future prospects. László Babai, owner of Oxygen Medical Kft and the Buda Allergy Center expects a 20-50% growth of turnover in 2011. Főnix-Med expects a major client number increase this year.

The private healthcare system will move towards a more complex and higher level of service in the upcoming years. “In a short period of time, private hospitals will have to provide all the levels and segments of the state healthcare system,” Babai said. He added that his company expects profits and development in the long-term.