AHEAD OF ITS TIME

Spain 2020 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

Having established a network of clinics across four continents, Eugin is shifting its focus to improving patient comfort and teaching aspiring doctors how to manage the latest technologies.

Eduardo González
BIOGRAPHY

With more than 25 years' experience, Eduardo González is a senior management professional with considerable experience and knowledge in the management of national and international companies in a diverse range of sectors. He has led and participated successfully in the reorganization and professionalization of companies' portfolio management, corporate operations, and refinancing processes. In the last 15 years, he has become a member of various boards of directors and an advisor to a number of investor groups.

How has Eugin evolved over the years?
Eugin started as a small clinic in Barcelona and its founders soon realized that it was hard to penetrate the local market. This led them to look into France and Italy. At that time, Spain had more open regulations than those two countries with regards to assisted reproduction, meaning patients in Spain could receive treatments that were not available elsewhere. Our founders dedicated their efforts to opening up the other markets and, as a result, our operations grew rapidly. Then, ProA Capital, based in Madrid, acquired part of Eugin. In 2012, it started a professionalization process, turning the clinic into a company. The company made acquisitions in Colombia, Spain, and Italy. Subsequently, a group called NMC Health, based in Abu Dhabi and listed on the London Stock Exchange, invested in the company and took over 90% of the group. Since then, we have grown to some 75 clinics in 15 countries across four continents, with 1,500 doctors and embryologists and over 42,000 treatments per year. We will soon be number-one in the global market.

What does your marketing plan involve?
We have acquired a number of clinics in different countries. This is not a large industry, so when one wants to grow, it has to be internationally. When we make acquisitions, we go for clinics that are not that big. We have been doing this rapidly, and it is now time to consolidate our growth. We are creating assets at a group level, such as our brand, an IP policy, Eugin Education, an IT system, and more. We have five initiatives at the moment and are working to create the above-mentioned assets to support all our clinics. In the future, our growth will be driven more through greenfield openings and not so much through acquisitions.

What is the role of Eugin Education?
One of the key things in the health sector is addressing the future needs of our patients. By creating the education program, we provide society with training that is not currently available. We teach how to manage new technologies, such as genetic testing or robotics. Moreover, by offering educational programs we can select the best talent and incorporate it into our company.

What is the future of health tourism?
We prefer to talk in terms of cross-border healthcare, and yes, indeed, it will disappear over time. In Europe, regulations are increasingly opening up. This means that patients will not travel if they do not need to. The healthcare industry needs to bring the treatment to wherever the patient is. At the same time, governments around the world are also tightening their grip on the sector. This means companies that have the proper reporting and controls in place will have an easier time when it comes to sharing information with governments.

What special features will your new facilities have?
In the health industry, everyone is becoming patient-centric. Recently, we have sat on the other side and asked patients what they want. We have a new 7,000-sqm facility in Barcelona, with two floors, one for a lab and one for our patients. We are investing a great deal in this new layout to completely change the way we operate. We are building 33 nests, which are basically rooms with a sofa, fridge, TV, and consultation room. The patients will stay there, and all procedures will take place in this room. We want patients to feel as comfortable as possible.

What opportunities do you see in Spain?
As other countries open up regulations, less and less international patients will come to Spain for treatment. Instead of exporting treatments, we can export technology. This is not just limited to medicine, but treatments, genetic testing, nutrition, psychology, and more. Making this a part of a comprehensive treatment is how we can progress.