Press Releases

IFC Investment to Help Expand Private Health Care in Bosnia and Herzegovina

In Washington, D.C.:
Ludi Joseph, IFC
Phone: +202 473 7700


In Sarajevo:
Selma Rasavac
Phone: +387 33 251 555

In Belgrade:
Slobodan Brkic
Phone: +381 11 3023 750

Washington, D.C./Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina, July 9, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is partnering with BH Heart Center to expand access to high-quality and affordable cardiovascular health services in Bosnia and Herzegovina, through a public-private-partnership with the country’s Federation Health Insurance and Reinsurance Fund. Contracts with other national and regional insurance funds are anticipated.

The demand for cardiac care in Bosnia and Herzegovina outweighs supply and is expected to grow, given the aging population and the increasing prevalence of lifestyle-related diseases. As the first private hospital in the country, the BH Heart Center will be a pioneer. In addition to improving access to health care, it will help establish quality benchmarks for the delivery of services and raise local clinical and patient care standards. The hospital will have 88 beds and offer cardiology and cardiovascular surgery services. IFC’s €4.1 million loan will be used to partially finance the construction of the hospital in Tuzla.

Dr. Emir Kabil, cofounder and Chief Executive Officer of BH Heart Center, said, “This project marks an important moment in the post-conflict history of our country by expanding access to high-quality and sustainable health services for the Bosnian people.”

Dr. Jacob Bergsland, cofounder and Chief Medical Director of BH Heart Center, said, “By entering into a long-term strategic partnership with IFC, which has broad experience in financing international private health care projects, the BH Heart Center can manage its growth more effectively in Bosnia and Herzegovina and eventually throughout the Balkan region.”

Dr. Ibrahim Terzic, cofounder and Chief of Cardiology at BH Heart Center, said, “The new center will offer the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina access to all aspects of cardiovascular care, including prevention and medical therapy as well as the most modern interventional and surgical treatment methods.”

Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, said, “IFC is proud to partner with a strong client to bring the first private hospital to Bosnia and Herzegovina. This will increase job and training opportunities for medical and managerial staff, helping stem the emigration of skilled workers.”

Shahbaz Mavaddat, IFC Director for Southern Europe and Central Asia, said, “This project aligns perfectly with IFC’s strategy to increase investments in key social infrastructure in post-conflict countries. It may also encourage other investors to participate in the country’s health sector.”

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC’s vision is that poor people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries.

About the BH Heart Center

The BH Heart Center, a full-service specialist hospital providing cardiovascular services, is located in the Tuzla Canton of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is the country’s first private health care institution. By cooperating closely with insurance funds and public sector hospitals, the local population will be assured fair access to high-quality treatment of cardiovascular diseases. The BH Heart Center will also serve patients from neighboring countries and territories that do not have their own cardiovascular clinics.