EBRD supports Serbian private healthcare sector

By Bojana Gajic

EBRD supports Serbian private healthcare sector

Photo courtesy of Bel Medic.

  • Bel Medic to develop infrastructure and management systems
  • Investment supported by EU funds through Enterprise Expansion Fund
  • First EBRD investment in Serbia’s private healthcare sector

The EBRD and the Enterprise Expansion Fund (ENEF) are providing a €3 million loan to support the expansion of the leading Serbian private healthcare provider Bel Medic.

This is the first joint investment by the EBRD and ENEF in the Serbian private healthcare sector aiming to further boost its development.

The funds will be used to finance the purchase of equipment for Bel Medic’s newly built hospital wing in Belgrade and to support the future growth and development of the hospital. With this investment, Bel Medic will be able to increase its bed capacity and fully equip two new operation rooms.

Serbian patients often face long waiting times for specialised and advanced healthcare services in public hospitals. The aim of this investment is to help alleviate this problem by providing wider access to specialised services, such as screenings.

Bel Medic has been the EBRD’s longest lasting advisory client since 2012. Through its Advice for Small Businesses and Women in Business programmes, the EBRD has helped Bel Medic to improve its organisation, management information system and accounting standards, leading to better quality of services, financial management and assurance in the company.

Zsuzsanna Hargitai, EBRD Regional Director, Western Balkans, said: “This investment will support Bel Medic to develop an offer of new value-added services. We are pleased that we can support the development and modernisation of Serbian hospitals for the benefit of the citizens”.

Jasmina Knežević, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bel Medic, added: “It is a great honour to see Bel Medic recognised by the EBRD as a trusted partner with the ability to keep up with modern medical development and international standards. We have always offered our clients the best practice service and treatment. Continuing our successful oath, the EBRD’s support means a lot to us”.

The ENEF is a €48.5 million fund supporting established small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with high-growth potential in the Western Balkans. The EBRD is also an investor in the fund, together with the European Investment Fund (EIF), the European Union, the German Development Bank (DEG), the Development Bank of Austria and Italy.

SMEs benefiting from ENEF investments also receive substantial technical assistance to help them to prepare and implement the investments.

The ENEF is part of a larger SME platform, the Western Balkans Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility, established jointly by the EBRD, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Union.

Bel Medic General Hospital is the first private hospital in Serbia, established in 1995 as a polyclinic and in 2004 was registered as a general hospital, offering a comprehensive set of medical care in several locations in Belgrade, with about 390 permanent employees and nearly 400 consultant doctors and experts in all medical specialties.

The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Serbia. The Bank has invested more than €5 billion across 250 projects in the country to date. The EBRD is supporting private-sector development and the transition towards a green economy, as well as investing in infrastructure to boost connectivity in the Western Balkans region.