Located in Greece, HYGEIA Group owns 3 hospitals in Greece – Hygeia General Hospital, Private, General, Maternity, Gynecological & Children’s Hospital SA and LETO Maternity, Gynecological & Surgical Center SA-, a procurement company-LOGIMED SA, BEATIFIC Research, Production and Trading of Cosmetics SA, and also AlfaLab Molecular Biology & Cytogenetics Center. Hygeia Hospital is the only hospital in Greece, to have received the ‘Gold Seal of Approval by JCI’.
The prominent healthcare service provider group has embedded latest technologies based on internationally recognized practices and standards in its backbone. Right from the first hybrid operating room with modern medical devices to da Vinci robotic system to Gamma Knife Brain Radiosurgery Department, MAKO Robotic Arm Assisted system, HYGEIA Hospital delivers premium quality of care for all its patients.
Mirror Review chats with the compassionate and dynamic CEO of HYGEIA GROUP , Andreas Kartapanis to know about his dedication towards the healthcare sector, his roles and responsibilities towards HYGEIA and a lot more. Here are the excerpts.
What is the present day scenario of the healthcare industry? To what extent, does the healthcare sector define a nation’s progress and economy?
The private healthcare market in Greece is quite developed, with its expense consumption being the highest in Europe. This private healthcare sector includes diagnostic centers and hospitals, which constitute primary and secondary healthcare facilities respectively. State-run hospitals have traditionally been the backbone of hospital-based care. However, the public healthcare sector is not yet in a position to fully meet with the rising demands for better quality healthcare services in terms of technical infrastructure, scientific level of staff and upgraded services. Currently, the private healthcare sector includes 170 private hospitals, 31 rehab centers and around 330 private diagnostic clinics.
In 2016, the five largest business groups held 53% of the total private healthcare market share, with the four largest groups holding 45% of the market share. Moreover, a large part of the health system budget is allocated to hospitals, which covers around 50% of total expenses.
Tell us about your organization and its unique range of services. In the modern era of technology, how Hygeia Group has adapted to those changes in its working ecosystem?
HYGEIA Hospital is the only hospital in Greece to have received the ‘Gold Seal of Approval by Joint Commission International’. Since 2010, HYGEIA Hospital is included in the 500 hospitals worldwide to have received the Gold Seal of Approval by JCI, so we make it a point of setting the bar higher every time by continuously improving our services, while our remaining focus stays on the patients who put their health in our hands.
True to this, HYGEIA Group has traditionally invested in new technologies and quality medical equipment, setting the pace and trend for the next decade in Greece. Looking back at the recent past, it is obvious that HYGEIA Group serves as an example for the entire sector. Likewise, we continue to hold a leading position in terms of investments in advanced technology, demonstrating that entrepreneurship is intertwined with the principles that govern our operation.
To name a few of our state-of-the-art technologies and services, we have the first hybrid operating room equipped with latest imaging and medical devices for performing complicated surgical procedures, the da Vinci robotic system which is the most advanced technology in medical robotic systems, the Gamma Knife Brain Radiosurgery Department, the first PET/CT Department and in 2017 all new MAKO Robotic Arm Assisted system is launched in HYGEIA Hospital. Lastly, we have also established the first dedicated private heart center in Greece. Through the Group hospitals, we offer comprehensive services – from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and follow-up – for all cardiovascular conditions and for all ages.
Our readers would like to know about your personal journey. What attracted you to start a venture in the healthcare sector?
After graduating from the Athens University of Economics, Department of Management and Business Administration, I entered the business arena. Today, my experience in healthcare spans around 18 years and in these years, I have worked in two public and two private hospitals. I was a Director at Sismanogleio Hospital and then at Evangelismos Hospital, the largest public hospital in Greece, during the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. I am also the only director in the history of the hospital to have resigned voluntarily to pursue a career in the private healthcare sector in 2005. I joined HYGEIA Group at the beginning of 2008 as General Manager and later took over the reins as the CEO in the last 3 years.
I switched over to the healthcare sector half-way through my professional career as I was driven by my personal moral values, seeing that I wanted to work in an industry that makes a contribution to people and society in general. In the last 18 years, I have been managing hospitals – both public and private and I must admit that the healthcare sector is not just a business sector but a constantly evolving entity. Each day offers yet another opportunity and a challenge to balance the sustainable operation and profitability of a group of hospitals while providing superior quality services to patients and making a difference for our fellow citizens.
As a leader of a prominent healthcare organization, what role do you play in its operations and growth? How do you tackle professional crisis?
In all these years, I have held senior executive positions that were driven by strong sets of moral values. The key principles that I abide by are respect, honesty and integrity. I work by the book and my main concern is to be able to look at my associates in the eye. Ethical management requires power, vision and passion. You must lead by an example, so that everything can be accomplished through teamwork and effort. Our human resources are our largest and most valuable asset. One of my primary considerations is to safeguard meritocracy and focus on team spirit and cooperation, by cultivating a pleasant and friendly work environment, which ultimately leads to a desirable business outcome and the growth of HYGEIA Group.
How does your organization stand apart from its competitors? What are your future milestones for Hygeia Group?
Our main competitive edge is that through our hospitals, which include general, maternity and children’s hospitals, HYGEIA Group has become a point of reference for the whole family. Additionally, the HYGEIA Group hospitals offer healthcare services to patients of all ages, from fetuses to the elderly. Our vision is to make all the HYGEIA Group hospitals point of references in Greece and among the leading hospitals in Europe in terms of quality health services. This is our goal both in the everyday operations of our hospitals as well as in our long-term strategies. At present, we have shifted out interest towards creating the largest group of healthcare services in Greece.
Who was your source of inspiration during the start of your professional career? Whom would you like to dedicate your success?
Looking back at the onset of my career, at a time when Greece was trying to find its footing in the entrepreneurial arena, I was fortunate enough to have worked next to a remarkable man and a true professional. His kindness, moral values and business integrity served as an inspiration and a valuable lesson in professionalism for me.