In his business, Dr. Silviu Predoi, General Manager of the ‘Promed System’ Clinic, relies upon medics and their experience, rather than state-of-the-art technology that is often considered as the factor that makes the difference between private clinics and public hospitals.
2010 was declared by many players in a variety of sectors as a difficult year, with the business challenge starting to shape up better in 2011. How would you characterise 2010 from a financial point of view in respect to Promed System’s activity and what are your expectations in Q1 of this year?
Promed System is a niche medical clinic, over-specialised in maternal-fetal medicine. The biggest achievements of 2010 were to complete the team in Bucharest and the assisted reproduction and prenatal diagnosis department. Furthermore, we initiated the social responsibility campaign “A free IVF each month,” through which we grant a free in-vitro fertilisation procedure to a couple each month. If we look at figures, Promed System tripled its turnover in 2010 and it is estimated for this year at EUR 2 M. This also became visible in the company incomes, especially after two years of massive investments of about EUR 1 M.
For 2011, we want to attract in our team 4-5 more medics with a name in maternal-fetal medicine, from the country and abroad. Another plan is to open the most advanced unit in this medical branch, at the middle of this year.
Since your beginning on the private clinic market to present, what has been the most profitable segment to Promed System? The corporate or the fee-for-service one?
Promed Systems offers ‘fee-for-service’ packages. Our over-specialised services of maternal-fetal services do not target corporate customers. However, we plan to address the corporate segment with the medical imaging services we provide to patients in Targoviste.
The market of private medical clinics is seen by the other relevant actors as being still in its early years, hence interesting for investors. What developments do you expect in Bucharest and in other major cities in the coming future and what is your opinion on the Romanian business environment?
The market of medical services had a rather good year in general, compared to other activity sectors. Most important medical service providers chose a regional path of development. However, many providers of medical services reduced or even ceased their activity.
For 2011, I expect to see a significant expansion of the ultra-specialised private medical clinics that will be able to keep and develop teams of experts. As far as I noticed, the market of private medical services tends to structure itself into three wide categories: private health systems that provide corporate medical services (to corporate and individual subscribers), ultra-specialised medical systems that provide niche medical services, and private medical systems that provide services which are mostly paid by the CAS (laboratory, imaging, dialysis etc.).
A major patient migration from public to private could be noticed both in Bucharest and in the rest of the country, because of the still inadequate quality of service provided by the former. Nonetheless, the introduction of the shared cost system is often regarded with skepticism by small to medium income patients. What is your explanation for the phenomenon?
This skepticism probably comes from the ‘health is for free’ mentality. Patients however start to gradually notice the differences between public and private services, they begin to realise that the public system is no longer able to cope with expenses and even small to medium income patients start to understand that a shared cost system which “obliges” the medical personnel of the public sector is preferable to “free” services that cannot be provided from lack of materials, forcing them to resort to the services of the private system.
What is Promed’s current strength on an extremely competitive local market such as that of private medical services?
As I see it, state-of-the-art equipment is not the element that makes the difference between private clinics or hospitals. Of course, this is very important, but what really matters are the medics and their experience. This is precisely why I wanted – and succeeded – to set up a team of very experienced medics. Most of them followed training courses abroad. Here are just a few names we are proud of: Dr. Alina Bolintineanu (Primary Medic Obstetrics & Gynecology – competences in Obstetric & Gynecologic echography, over-specialised in Assisted Human Reproduction – in-vitro fertilisation), Dr. Deliana Predoi (Specialist Medic Obstetrics & Gynecology – Competences in Obstetric & Gynecologic echography, Colposcopy, and over-specialised in Assisted Human Reproduction – in-vitro fertilisation).