The year is coming to an end and it is time to take stock of these twelve months and our challenges for 2023. In general, 2022 will be remembered as the year of the war in Ukraine, the first in Europe for 30 years, following the Russian invasion. This conflict has brought back the worst images and memories of the horrors of war, an international tension of war that most of us have not experienced and important consequences for the West, the result of our globalised world: the rise in the price of many raw materials and energy, the threat posed by possible cuts in the gas pipeline in the area, problems in the distribution of corn or wheat and the mass exodus of refugees, among others. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly reiterate my solidarity with the Ukrainian people, to whose citizens we have provided health care from the hospitals of the Ribera Group. In fact, we had the good fortune to care for the first baby born in Spain to a Ukrainian refugee mother in our hospital in Denia. In addition, we have promoted and facilitated the recruitment of Ukrainian professionals in the group’s technology company, Futurs, and we have helped displaced families and also those who remain in the country, through campaigns and donations of health material, food, clothes and toys.
In this macro scenario, marked as I have mentioned by the war in Ukraine and its consequences, I would like to briefly review the trajectory of the Ribera healthcare group in 2022, a year that has undoubtedly meant a transformation, especially after having overcome challenges and also important changes. The most significant at the corporate level has been the exit of Centene Corporation and the entry of Vivalto Santé as a reference shareholder. I have already commented on this fact in another blog, so I will not expand on it, but I would like to highlight the naturalness and good work of all parties in the operation, which in no way affected the day-to-day running of our hospitals or our professionals, nor our roadmap for growth and consolidation in Europe and other regions of the world.
In fact, this has been a year in which we have added three new projects to the Ribera Group: the entry of the largest hospital group in Murcia, Virgen de la Caridad; the award of the Cascais Hospital (Portugal); and the collaboration project with Dhamam to start up the first two public-private hospitals in Kuwait. We are growing in Spain and Europe, with our entry into Portugal, and we are taking the first steps to contribute to the sustainability of the healthcare system in the Middle East as well.
These are three transformational projects, different from each other, which bring us experience, internationalisation and the value of new professionals who join the Ribera family. We will end 2022 with 13 hospitals (two of them university hospitals) on three continents (Europe, Asia and Latin America), 1,568 beds, 64 primary care centres and 35 polyclinics, 9,050 professionals and more than one million patients attended per year. And it is precisely these important figures that have made me realise that, regardless of the numbers, we have an important challenge ahead of us, to which I intend to dedicate a large part of my efforts in 2023: to maintain the values and essence that have always made the Ribera healthcare group different.
We must remain loyal to our roots, to a brand that professionals and patients value and support, to principles of closeness, humanism, trust, inclusion and respect for diversity that make us unique.
It is precisely these shared principles that make Ribera «great» in human terms: a diversity of projects, business models, culture and traditions that add up to much more than figures, that enriches us, creates ties and synergies between professionals and facilitates constant learning, to make us stronger and improve every day in the care of our patients and their families.
Today we are the only Spanish healthcare group with such an outstanding international presence, since before Portugal and the Middle East, projects from Latin America and Central Europe joined Ribera. Moreover, our vision is to create a brand that we build among professionals and managers to provide an excellent service to the citizens of our areas, and to take advantage of the accumulated knowledge of the entire organisation so that, with the best practices, we are in a position to offer a valuable medicine, aligned with our model of responsible health.
That is why I insist. It is important that we remain loyal to our roots and principles. Let us not lose our essence. Diversity is the strength that has always helped us to adapt and to manage change in an agile and efficient way, as we demonstrated in the toughest moments of the pandemic.
This was the central message that I shared with the teams of all the group’s hospitals a few days before Christmas, and it is the message that I would like to convey to each and every one of the professionals working in the Ribera Group. From this blog, I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy new year and, above all, good health for you and your families.