Eahm2019 | ING: "Our goal is to continue to support innovative…

28th Congress of the European Association for hospital managers


ING had no hesitation in deciding to take part in the EAHM 2019 congress, because the main topic of the event – Innovation – totally chimes with ING’s values. How does Jean-Pierre Verbeken, Head of Midcorp and Institutionals, ING Belgium, see the future of the hospitals in a challenging financial context? And what can ING offer them by way of help?

Why did ING want to be a partner of the EAHM 2019 congress?

JP: Healthcare is a strategic sector for ING for a number of reasons:

I  Healthcare is an important economic sector that accounts for about 10% of GDP every year.
I  As a banking company, ING has a major involvement in the hospital sector.
I  The hospital sector is a major employer in Belgium.
I  ING sees itself not merely as a banker for the hospitals, but also as a partner which supports multiple national and international events.

In addition, the Congress of the European Association of Hospital Managers is inviting a number of important ING stakeholders, and the programme has been designed very well from the point of view of content. The main topic of Innovation is very much in accordance with what is important for ING. This means that it was actually obvious that we should be a partner of this congress.

How important is innovation in the healthcare sector to ING?

JP: Just as it does in the financial sector, innovation has a major impact in the hospital sector. This applies both to the future operation of a hospital and to the development of medicine and healthcare. Hospitals, which do not pay attention to innovation, are at risk of getting left behind in the future.

Innovation and digitalisation come up in all the conversations that we hold. We have also teamed up with a number of partners to organise “pilots tables” where we put innovative start-ups in touch with care sector players. By doing this, we help to build connections between our diverse clients from the healthcare ecosystem.

Looking to the future, what will be the biggest challenges facing hospital managers, and how can ING help them to cope with them?

JP: The impact of innovation on the operation of medicine and hospitals is certainly one of them. Other challenges are on the one hand cooperation in the new loco regional networks and on the other, integrating patient care. This is what our new study Health ProspectING 2019 looks at. Life expectancy is higher than before, but at the same time there are more chronic and complex patients who require specific continuing care. We believe that the combination of the loco regional networks and integration between the various care sector players is very important.

On top of that, ING’s role is to facilitate financing streams and work with the CEOs to understand how best to fund growth or to explore how the existing infrastructure can be constantly tailored to meet modern technological standards.

40% of hospitals are facing financial problems. This is a challenge for banks, but ING continues to be a major player in the hospital landscape. What are your strengths and your plans for the future?

JP: The sector is undergoing transformation: you only need to look at care funding and care management. In addition, the hospital of the future is going to look radically different from how it does today. Our strength lies in our extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the sector, which enables us to identify and understand those challenges. We will be mostly backing projects, which offer a broad answer to the challenges being faced. How the management tackles those challenges is an important part of the picture for us. So we look at every project on its individual merits, and take a personalised, creative approach to the search for the right solutions. In every event, we take a long-term view, and in other words the goal is to continue to support investment projects!

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