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IFC MAKES FIRST REGIONAL HEALTH CARE INVESTMENT IN EASTERN EUROPE


Brigid Janssen
Phone: (202) 458-4698
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: bjanssen@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 1999 – The International Finance Corporation is making its first investment in a regional health care provider in Central and Eastern Europe.
IFC's US$7 million loan to ABC Medicover Holdings B.V. (Medicover) will support Medicover's expansion project. Medicover, headquartered in Warsaw, was founded in 1995 to develop a comprehensive prepaid private health care system, and is based on a network of outpatient centers offering preventive and ambulatory care, occupational medicine, access and coordination of services. At present, Medicover operates outpatient centers in Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Estonia and serves approximately 30,000 members, primarily from the corporate sector. As part of the project, Medicover will open new facilities in those countries and in other countries in the region.
The awareness and demand for quality private health care services in Central and Eastern Europe has increased dramatically and many companies now recognize the need to supplement their employees' benefit packages with private health care coverage. Medicover has responded to this demand and is positioning itself to become a leading private health care system in the region.
Harold Rosen, IFC Director for Central and Southern Europe, said that the project will extend quality health care services to many people and offer best-practice in primary care and occupational medicine as well as serving as a model for other institutions in the region. IFC Trust Funds provided by the Dutch Government will help finance Medicover's efforts to advance occupational health reforms by training physicians and nurses, educating employers, and working with health authorities to set up appropriate regulatory framework.
Dr. Paul Lenz, CEO of Medicover said the loan would provide additional resources, allow Medicover to expand its services to many more companies and individuals, and help the countries of the region to provide the best possible care based on choice of the consumer.
Medicover's major investor is ORESA Ventures, a Swedish venture capital company with interests in the health care and distribution sectors. ORESA Ventures has significant experience in the region and is dedicated to providing a strong support to Medicover throughout its expansion.
The mission of IFC, part of the World Bank Group, is to promote private sector investment in developing countries which will reduce poverty and improve people's lives. IFC finances private sector investments in the developing world, mobilizes capital in the international financial markets and provides technical assistance and advice to governments and businesses.