News on Sunday

Olivier Schmitt : “Medical tourism is a budding industry but there is room for development”

Recently, Welkin Hospital and Clinique Darné have been rebranded under C-Care. The CEO of C-Care, Olivier Schmitt, talks about both hospitals highlighting upcoming major projects. He also refers to robotic surgery, medical tourism and the health sector. He believes that the medical tourism is a budding sector but robotic surgery is a complex process. 

Wellkin Hospital and Clinique Darné now operate as C-Care. What does this rebranding represent for both private hospitals?
First and foremost, both Clinique Darné and Wellkin Hospital will remain as two independent entities.  Over and above everything else, this rebranding is our way of ensuring that all our establishments, be it Clinique Darné, which stands as the origin of quality private healthcare system in Mauritius, or Wellkin Hospital, which introduced the concept of the first private hospital in Mauritius with world-class infrastructure, or even through C-Care Clinic in the North, previously known as Clinique Darné North, to implement and evolve within the framework of values and philosophies of the C-Care brand. 

C-Care is our commitment to provide the best quality healthcare in Mauritius and in the region. We listen carefully to our patients and we work as a team to leverage on the very best medical expertise and the latest health care technology in a wide range of specialties. C-Care now stands as a brand that inspires trust from both our patients and our partners by showing to everyone how we carry out our long-term vision in the best ways possible.  

What unique perspectives/vision will C-Care’s leadership and management bring to healthcare?
To put the patient first and we do so by delivering medical services with a passionate care we can all be proud of. As C-Care, we bring all medical services under one roof. We are facilitators offering qualitative technical platforms for doctors, medical and paramedical staff to operate from. We are here to support doctors in doing their job, to guarantee the best level of service to our patients and partners as well as to provide the best level of care to our patients.  

To do so, we strongly believe in a collaborative approach where all healthcare actors work together to address some important public health challenges and raise the bar in terms of quality of the services offered to Mauritians and visitors alike.  We will also put a lot of emphasis on training and development, in the introduction of the latest equipment and new specialties while focusing on bringing medical services closer to our patients. By so doing, our commitment towards excellence in healthcare services remains unfailing.

We strongly believe in a collaborative approach where all healthcare actors work together to address some important public health challenges and raise the bar in terms of quality of the services offered to Mauritians and visitors alike."

Are there any expansion prospects for the company?
The C-Care Clinic, our day-care clinic located at La Croisette, is a good illustration of how we have begun our expansion. We are now able to cater to the medical needs of a new region in Mauritius and provide access to the same level of services as we do at Clinique Darné and Wellkin Hospital but within a short to medium-term basis.

C-Lab also joins the C-Care family to promote the unique and qualitative laboratory services that we offer at Clinique Darné, Wellkin Hospital and C-Care Clinic. C-Lab will aim at delivering fast and reliable services covering a wide range of tests and advanced medical treatments. 

According to you, today, what are the greatest challenges of the health sector in Mauritius? 
The global shortage of qualified nursing staff is one of the greatest challenges that the healthcare sector is facing today in Mauritius. This results in a number of issues, the main one, being at the long waiting and discharge time for patients, which in turn, greatly impedes upon our administrative procedures as well. 

Furthermore, there is a considerable number of patients who still need to travel abroad for their treatments. C-Care is thus engaged in bringing in more extensive range of medical specialties to be accessible to our patients in Mauritius. Mauritius already has a pool of local medical experts who have reached international recognition for their work in their respective fields, and one of our initiatives is to provide these individuals with a platform where they may be able to operate more often in Mauritius itself as well as training more local physicians and surgeons to reach an international standard that would be enough to cater for our local and regional needs. 

How crucial is public private partnership in ensuring affordable healthcare in the region? 
A public-private partnership is not only crucial to ensure affordable prices but also accessibility to services that would otherwise remain exclusive. For example, our recent Newborn Screening apparatus that was recently launched at C-Lab will work closely with the Central Health Services to provide this service to a larger number of new parents, hence giving them a higher degree of reassurance in regard to the health of their infants. 

The Lab Week that we organised a few weeks back also falls in the kind of activities that fosters a stronger entente between the public sector and the private sector. And it is not only in terms of governmental bodies but also NGOs who wish to collaborate with us. 

Otherwise, Mauritius is willing to make medical tourism a reality. Is C-Care looking forward to further exploiting this sector?
Medical tourism is a budding industry but there is indeed room for development. C-Care will continue to put forward its best foot, by constantly facilitating access to world-class practitioners for difficult operations as well as training our local talents so that we may become independent. We have an International Desk which caters for the needs of our international patients who come essentially from Madagascar, Seychelles and Comoros Islands for our quality treatments and service. We are constantly organising medical conferences to bring the latest research, technologies and methods to medical experts here and Mauritius itself has a small team of internationally renowned doctors who help bring more savoir-faire to their peers. 

In this capacity, we fully embrace the Government vision of contributing to a medical hub for the African and Indian Ocean region.

Another phenomenon in the medical sector is robotic surgery. Where does C-Care stand in this matter?
Robotic surgery is a very complex branch of medicine. Yet, robotic surgery is already a big part of the medical sector. At Clinique Darné and Wellkin Hospital, we already have a certain level of automatisation for tests and we hope that we will be able to implement more in the future. When it comes to robotic surgery, specifically, we might have to wait a little more to implement it in Mauritius. There are still many specialty treatments for which we have the manual talents in Mauritius. Before we can even think of adopting robotic surgery, we need to reach a level where performing these operations would become relatively easy and where the risks are minimal. 

What kind of innovation can we expect from C-Care? 
The Newborn screening test is an innovative test that we are already offering to parents in Mauritius. It’s a tool that will greatly reduce the risk of serious health complication in the future for infants. 

Wellkin Hospital also initiated the first ever live laparoscopic surgery and conference in Mauritius, a few weeks back, where experts from around the world were able to share their opinions and ideas regarding this revolutionary surgery. Our palliative services, spearheaded by Clinique Darné, is focusing on a branch of medical service that has for long been neglected in Mauritius. 

We will shortly be introducing the complete paediatric specialty centre at Wellkin Hospital.  This will give the opportunity to parents of infants to benefit from treatment which was previously not available in Mauritius. 

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