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Private healthcare - reaping the rewards

Article - September 15, 2011
The Romanian private healthcare sector has grown significantly and is one of the fastest developing markets in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Romanian private healthcare sector has grown significantly in recent years. Driven by an ailing public health service and the improved purchasing power of its population – the seventh largest in the European Union – it is one of the fastest developing markets in Central and Eastern Europe. It is not surprising therefore that Cegedim Group, a world-leading provider of CRM software for the healthcare sector worth over $1.3 billion, finds Romania a rewarding market place.

When Cegedim entered Romania in 1996 there was huge demand for private healthcare and very little supply – with the total value of the market at only $300 million. However, since then Romanian private healthcare has seen remarkable growth and has increased to a value of $3 billion. Cegedim Group, which supplies services, technological tools, specialized software, data flow management services and databases has been at the forefront of the market growth and established itself as the leading healthcare company in Romania.

However, the rapid expansion in the healthcare sector has led to uneven development and left some critical gaps within the industry. Mr. Petru Craciun, general manager of Cegedim Group, Romania, now believes these issues need fixing if the private healthcare and pharmaceutical sector is to continue to expand at pace in Romania. “Romania has a good pool of skilled human capital. What we lack is the tradition of research and development. Personally, I think it would be a good idea for investors to set up a research facility here. I do not see it taking place naturally without foreign support.”

When asked what drives a company like Cegedim to revolutionize healthcare in Romania, Mr. Craciun explains that it is not just the economic rewards that motivate the group. “There is the specialist aspect and the human aspect. Sure, all businesses like to make a profit, but the human aspect gives it more meaning, particularly in countries like ours that have gone through considerable difficulties. Cegedim employs 8,500 people in more than 80 countries so it is part of Cegedim Group’s international strategy to contribute to issues of social equity, with respect to its employees but also to local communities, as well as minimize the environmental impact of Group activities. Bringing health and a better quality of life to the markets in which we operate is more important than just the financial results.”