Global Health Partner opens three clinics for obesity treatment

Global Health Partner is further expanding its network of clinics (Bariatric Centers) focusing on treating obesity and is taking an important step in establishing a world-leading chain of clinics for this kind of treatment. The new clinics are established in Bergen in Norway, Birmingham in the UK and in Cairo, Egypt. Global Health Partner already has obesity clinics in Stockholm and Lund in Sweden.

The obesity prevalence is increasing epidemically in the western world. WHO estimates that close to 150 million people will suffer from obesity in Europe by 2010. Obesity comes with a number of co-morbidities such as diabetes type II, hypertension and infertility. Both the excessive weight as well as the co-morbidities cause patient suffering and high health care spending. Studies show that the only successful treatment for obesity is surgery. Global Health Partner’s clinics are using a method called gastric by-pass, where the surgeon creates a small pouch of the ventricle. The pouch is then attached to the middle part of the small intestine.

Early 2009, a clinic focusing on obesity treatment, Bariatric Center Bergen, was opened in Vestnorsk Ortopedisk Sykehus in Bergen, Norway where Global Health Partner also has a clinic focusing on spine surgery, Bergen Spine Center. Bariatric Center Bergen will primarily focus on the private market. In Norway, almost 1,200 bariatric surgery procedures were completed in 2007, all of which were gastric by-passes. The price per procedure in the Norwegian private market is above NOK 100,000.

In Birmingham Vita Clinics has started the first of several planned out-patient clinics in the UK. Initially, a number of publicly funded patients from Northern Ireland are treated under a queue-shortening agreement, but the UK clinics will also address the private market. The number of bariatric surgeries in the UK market is still very low, despite the fact that obesity prevalence is among the highest in Europe. In 2007 some 5,200 bariatric surgery procedures were completed, of which 2,000 were gastric by-passes. The volume is expected to increase significantly the next few years. The price is around GBP 10,000 for the procedure in the private market.

The third clinic, Bariatric Center Cairo, is being opened in Cairo, Egypt and will treat private patients. The share of the population suffering from obesity exceeds 20% and a very high share of these is also suffering from type II diabetes. In 2007 more than 1,400 bariatric surgeries were completed, of which more than 200 were gastric by-passes. Market growth is high and the price for a gastric by-pass varies between EGP 40,000 and 100,000. The clinic is run by Osama Taha, a surgeon trained at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Global Health Partner’s ambition is to create a world-leading chain of clinics for treating obesity, with focus on surgery. Through strong specialisation, high volumes and co-operation between clinics and between different specialities within each clinic superior quality and efficiency can be reached, which is of value both for patients as well as payors.

Gothenburg 5 February 2009
Global Health Partner AB (publ)

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