Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA), a global leader in health technology, and the governments of Ethiopia and the Netherlands, have signed a seven-year agreement to build Ethiopia’s first specialised Cardiac Care Center to address the critical shortage of cardiology services in Ethiopia. Under the terms of the agreement, valued at approximately Euro 40 million, Philips will be responsible for the full turnkey design, construction, equipping and commissioning of the hospital location, as well as staff education and equipment maintenance for five years after completion. The new centre will be developed within the compound of the existing Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital (TASH) in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.
The new specialist cardiac care centre will comprise a 7-story building covering 7,200 square meters with three operating rooms, two cath labs, 94 beds, and full diagnostic and examination suites. Scheduled for completion in mid-2020, it is estimated that the new centre will have the physical capacity to perform 500 surgeries, 1,600 cath lab diagnoses, and 500 cath lab interventions once operational.
“This is a unique project for Philips globally as we are creating an entire turnkey hospital solution,” said Jasper Westerink, CEO of Philips Africa. “Drawing on more than 125 years’ of Philips’ experience on the African continent, paired with our expertise in holistic healthcare planning and hospital design, we are pleased to support the Government of Ethiopia as a strategic partner in developing and implementing an integrated approach to cardiovascular care that will enable improved treatment and outcomes for patients and clinicians.”
The Ethiopian population of over 100 million citizens currently has no access to a continually functioning cardiac center, a bleak reality for a country with one of the highest prevalence of rheumatic heart disease, which is largely preventable and often caused by non-treated throat infections. In Ethiopia, it is the leading cause of acquired heart disease among children and young adults. At Tikur Anbessa Specialized Hospital in Addis Ababa there is a waiting list of over 8,000 patients for cardiac care that currently cannot be addressed.
The agreement not only covers construction of the new cardiac care center, but also renovation of an existing section of the TASH hospital. Renovation of an existing floor in the hospital will begin by June, 2018, and is expected to be completed before the end of the year. It will include installation of a dedicated cardiology operating theatre, a new Philips bi-plane interventional catheterization lab, and a cardiology ICU. This will increase capacity and enable surgical interventions to be performed before the new cardiac care center is ready.
“We want to transform cardiology care in Ethiopia, and in Philips we have a strong partner that understands our requirements and is able to provide a comprehensive hospital solution for state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment of cardiac diseases, including capability building and skills transfer,” said Ato Amir Aman (https://goo.gl/31ozs3), Minister of Health (MOH) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. “Through this strategic collaboration, TASH will have access to Philips’ health technologies and services, as well as clinical education, IT integration and data analytics, allowing us to fully redesign our care processes for cardiology interventions.”
With the aim to improve access to quality healthcare in Africa the Netherlands government is contributing to this project with funding via the Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO.
A specialist cardiology training program with the University of Cape Town has been integrated into the project. The program will impart specialist skills to the staff at the TASH hospital and garner local experience for the Ethiopian surgical team. In addition, Philips will be responsible for comprehensive maintenance of all equipment in the hospital five (5) years post the completion of the new cardiac center.
Integrated solutions provider
The new specialist cardiology center is another example of Philips’ strategy of delivering co-designed integrated solutions aimed at solving complex healthcare challenges and creating a more sustainable approach to healthcare. These innovative healthcare delivery models help healthcare providers to continuously improve access to care, clinical quality and operational performance, while at the same time enhancing patient and staff experience. Showing great traction across the globe, Philips already has more than one hundred long-term strategic partnerships in the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia.