Fourth quarter 2020
Full year 2020
For GHP 2020 was a year characterised by rapid change and adaptation to new conditions. When we entered the fourth quarter the majority of our clinics had begun to return to more normal business operations after two quarters in which managing the pandemic had been in focus. But, just like several times earlier on in the year, the map was changed once again in October. New restrictions impacted our patient flows, our own personnel were hit by sick leave and our hospitals in the Middle East had to once again adapt their business operations to treat Covid-19 patients. At the same time, public sector health care needed our help to manage the pandemic and at the turn of the year we had seconded approximately 40 employees to support hospitals in Stockholm.
Despite these challenges, we managed to meet our patients’ and our clients’ expectations of high quality and efficient health care in the fourth quarter as well. We have also increased our organic growth, improved our financial results and have a strong balance sheet. This is proof that GHP’s model works and that we have a strong and well-run organisation. We are proud that we are in this position and it means that we can carry out new investments in all our segments, thus strengthening GHP. There is great demand for specialist health care and we are ready to further strengthen our offering to insurance patients and public sector clients.
In the Nordic Region we finished the year strongly, with several of the clinics showing clear improvement in results compared with previous years. Our clinics in Västra Götaland, Skåne and Copenhagen have developed really well and have managed to adapt their business operations in an exemplary fashion so as to be able to manage the increasing demand for specialist care. In Stockholm our business operations were negatively impacted by the pandemic and sick leave and new restrictions created certain challenges there. All our clinics once again showed that they can manage difficult and unpredictable situations nimbly and flexibly.
At the end of the quarter GHP Specialisttandläkarna Nacka, which is Sweden’s largest private unit for specialist dentistry, moved to new and larger premises in Nacka in the east of Stockholm. The new clinic comprises 1,300 m2 and has 16 treatment rooms and a dental laboratory. The move is a good example of how we can develop and expand our existing operations.
In International our business operations in the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are still impacted by the pandemic. In the United Arab Emirates, large parts of the hospitals are now used for pandemic care and this places great demands on our organisation and our employees. In Kuwait the pandemic means that we cannot expand the hospital at the desired rate and this also impacts our revenues. Even if the situation involves great challenges for the hospitals, it is pleasing to see the appreciation that both patients and our clients show for our work in the region.
In the UAE we now have a new opposite party for the agreement there as the owners of the hospitals that GHP runs, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, have elected to transfer the handling of their management contracts to an external organisation. In connection with this, GHP has decided to write down receivables stemming from the initial period of cooperation corresponding to SEK 5.3 million. This has been charged to our results for the quarter.
Our work on business development continued during the quarter in spite of the fact that the pandemic makes it more difficult to maintain a dialogue with both new potential partners and existing clients. We look forward to being able to accelerate these processes when the situation has normalised.
In Vårdsamverkan we saw that the quarter began with a certain increase in patient volumes and the consumption of care. This is also reflected in the segment’s costs. This is a natural consequence of the decrease that the pandemic caused in the second and third quarters.
During the year we made important investments to digitise our offering and to develop data-driven tools to improve the care chains. During the fourth quarter a new physiotherapy app was launched where patients and clinics can in a user-friendly and efficient manner gain access to rehab programs and share information on how treatment is progressing.
It is also pleasing to see that GHP’s unique data warehouse and analytical tools lead to concrete improvements in patients’ encounter with health care. During the quarter, we have introduced a number of new care processes through Vårdsamverkan for both spine and shoulder patients whereby we secure that patients are directed to the optimal level of care, from the first to the last step of the treatment.
The fourth quarter allows us to put an exceptional year behind us. There are many positive things that we can take with us from 2020 and from the fourth quarter, where we despite a turbulent year are improving our financial results, which shows that GHP has additional potential that we hope to realize in the future.