Medi-Clinic steps into Europe

Last August, when the South African hospital group Medi-Clinic Corporation acquired Hirslanden, Switzerland's biggest private hospital group, the company not only took its first step into Europe, but progressed its strategy for the geographical expansion of its core business — acute medicine 'in conjunction with superior nursing care'.

‘Hirslanden has found a long-time strategic partner that has the same focus as us,’ said Dr Robert Bider, Hirslanden’s CEO since 1990. ‘We are convinced that this partnership holds great potential for the future.’ The patients are unaware of a change in ownership; the logo has been retained; the hospitals are characterised by the local market and legislation and the same, as well as enhanced, level of care, with no effects on the staff. There are no plans to sell off any of the hospitals.
Robert Bider said interest in further Swiss acquisitions is keen, but Medi-Clinic wants to tackle international growth systematically. ‘Concepts are currently being developed. Structures and processes must be compatible so that the synergy can be exploited, and experience and knowledge exchanged. Access to teaching and research is essential for private institutions, but difficult where the university landscape is dominated by the state. Thanks to today’s modern means of communication the establishment of an international private university-related organisation appears absolutely realistic. For example, Medi-Clinic is strongly rooted in a university-linked sector. The group is directly involved in the training of specialists and in research at five medical faculties. Moreover, it is responsible for the first privately managed university medical centre in South Africa.’
Dr Edwin Hertzog, President of the Administrative Board of Medi-Clinic Corp. Ltd, and Hirslanden CEO Dr Robert Bider will report on this development at MCC Hospital World 2008 (

Medi-Clinic, the S. Africa-based private hospital group, was founded in 1983 by Dr Edwin Hertzog, its present Administrative Board President, with the support of the Rembrandt Group. The corporation unites 50 hospitals (c. 7,000 beds; 13,000 staff) most of which operate the affiliated doctor system.
The Swiss Hirslanden private hospital group, established in 1990 by a Hirslanden Clinic merger with four clinics owned by the American Medical International (AMI) Group.  The group now owns 13 hospitals (c. 1,300 beds; 4,500 employees). Dr Robert Bider has been CEO since 1990. In 2007, Hirslanden changed hands from the private equity group BC Partners to the South African corporation Medi-Clinic.


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