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Czech News in English » News » National » HN: Billionaires are buying hospitals, planning new ones

HN: Billionaires are buying hospitals, planning new ones

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Prague, March 7 (CTK) – Czech billionaires are buying hospitals the Czech Republic and some of them even plan to build new ones, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) writes yesterday and carries the business stories of five of the biggest of them.
The five are Finance Minister and ANO head Andrej Babis (Hartenberg), Sotirios Zavalianis, Tomas Chrenek (Agel), Marek Dospiva (Penta) and Jan Blasko (EUC).
Babis invests in health care through Hartenberg, number one in artificial fertilisation business which falls under SynBiol firm, and he owns two polyclinics in Velke Mezirici, south Moravia, and in Prague-Modrany.
Babis transferred SynBiol to a trust fund in early February, shortly before a law on conflict of interest took effect.
Zavalianis, a Greek businessman staying in the Czech Republic, bought hospitals in Horovice and Beroun, both central Bohemia, ten years ago. Later, he added the Multiscan oncological centre, HN writes.
Chrenek’s Agel is the largest network of private health care facilities in the country. It owns 11 hospitals, particularly in Moravia, and it also owns pharmacies and hospitals in Slovakia, HN writes.
In addition, Chrenek wants to build a new hospital in Prague-Malesice within our years with the costs put at more than one billion crowns, HN writes.
It writes that in September, Agel will open its own secondary health care school. It will have three classes with 30 students each at the beginning.
Hartenberg is also thinking of a new clinic in Prague, HN writes.
Dospiva’s Penta is buying one of the largest private hospital networsk, Nemos. It will pay several hundreds of millions of crowns for 90 percent in the firm with annual sales worth one billion crowns.
The network owns hospitals in Sokolov, Ostrov and Susice, all west Bohemia. Last year, it bought a smaller hospital in Vrchlabi, east Bohemia, HN writes.
Penta is number one of Slovakia’s private health care and it also owns ten hospitals in Poland, HN writes.
It adds that currently, it is eyeing the hospital in Roudnice nad Labem, north Bohemia.
However, all big players in the field of health care want to expand and that is why it is more and more difficult to find someone who would sell a private hospital and a majority of public facilities, whether teaching or regional hospitals, are not considering sale, HN writes.
“We can see towns’ willingness to talk to investors such as Penta or Agel. This is only because large regional holdings try to concentrate acute care in their facilities and turn town hospitals into facilities for long-time ill people or out-patient facilities with a minimal number of acute beds. Towns do not like this, they do not want their citizens to travel 40 kilometres in search of care,” HN quotes Vaclav Jirku, Penta’s investment director, as saying.
Former Euroclinicum, now EUC of Jan Blasko owns two hospitals and 12 clinics. It focuses on employees’ examinations and care. for them. Laboratories and pharmacies are also part of EUC, HN writes.
It writes that in the past two months, EUC bought the mammographic centre in Pardubice, east Bohemia, and the top-level care Homolka Premium Care from the state-controlled Na Homolce hospital in Prague, HN writes.
The Chinese company CEFC, directed by former Czech defence minister Jaroslav Tvrdik in the Czech Republic, will invest 250 million crowns in the construction of a clinic of Chinese medicine in Hradec Karlove, east Bohemia, HN writes.
Other Czech industrialists are also building health care facilties, HN writes and gives Rene Holecek, former owner of the AWT transport firm, as an example.
Holecek, who now owns the Ceska zbrojovka armament firm in Uhersky Brod, south-east Moravia, is building a polyclinic for his employees next to the production capacity, HN writes.
It writes that if this pilot project succeeds, Holecek wants to build similar facilities for other large industrial firms in the country as well.
($1=25.506 crowns)

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