VAMED – Austria’s Crisis Helper in Overcoming the Global Pandemic

4/24/2021
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COVID-19 wards, hospitals and rehabilitation from the coronavirus

As a leading international healthcare provider on five continents, the VAMED Group headquartered in Austria kept more than 200,000 hospital beds available across the globe in 2020. VAMED’s doctors, therapists as well as nursing staff, technical employees and project teams were involved in overcoming the pandemic, in some cases working day and night, sometimes in full personal protective equipment. They were deployed in 820 hospitals, at rehabilitation clinics, in the operation and servicing of millions of medical devices or in setting up additional COVID-19 wards and emergency hospitals. In this way, VAMED and its 23,000 employees proved to be a reliable partner in the pandemic. The company’s orders on hand for new healthcare projects equals more than EUR 3 billion. Follow-up contract orders for domestic companies secure thousands of jobs in Austria. 

20,300 ventilators were made available, along with tens of millions of mouth-nose protective masks and gloves. Employees worked overtime in excess of 500,000 hours in the acute and post-acute segments alone to safeguard operations during the pandemic. This is VAMED’s somewhat different scorecard in the past 2020 financial year.   

“The deployment of our employees in the coronavirus red zones in Italy, Austria, Spain, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany and Great Britain helped to save many people’s lives”, says Dr. Ernst Wastler, Chief Executive Officer of VAMED AG. “We also planned and constructed additional healthcare capacities in Asia, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and Oceania, putting them into operation and maintaining their availability, either by remaining on site or coordinating things remotely from a distance.”

Emergency coronavirus hospitals in Berlin and Bergamo – VAMED clinics with a focus on the virus

VAMED employees kept biomedical equipment running in 130 hospitals in Italy alone on a 24/7 basis, for the most part in the most severely affected areas in the north of the country. VAMED also set up emergency medical care in the exhibition halls in Bergamo. Similarly, VAMED also established a fully-fledged reserve center with 1,000 beds in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin for the hospitalization of patients infected with COVID-19 within just a couple of weeks along with additional intensive care capacities ranging from monitoring and invasive mechanical ventilation to computer tomography (CT) and X-rays. 

At Vienna General Hospital, more than 1,000 VAMED employees assured the seamless ongoing operation of the facility, increased intensive care capabilities for artificial respiration by 20% in just a few days and completed a new clinic for the psychiatric care of children and young people. In addition, several rehabilitation clinics in Austria and Germany for pneumology and neurology were temporarily converted to serve as medical supply units for the acute care of COVID-19 patients.

Post-COVID-19 care in Austria – Expansion of rehabilitation, nursing and telemedicine

VAMED healthcare facilities developed a special post-acute rehabilitation program for the follow-up treatment of COVID-19 patients. As a means of meeting increased demand after the pandemic, VAMED expanded the capacities of its rehabilitation clinics in Kapfenberg, Gars am Kamp, Montafon and Oberndorf in Salzburg and also opened up five new outpatient rehabilitation centers throughout Austria.

In Vienna, VAMED upgraded the Oberlaa site to create its first fully integrated healthcare facility, featuring services ranging from prevention and acute care to rehabilitation and nursing. In addition to COVID-19 testing and post-acute rehabilitation following COVID-19 infections, the site also offers medical care by general practitioners and specialists at fixed times seven days a week and also via a telemedical service. 

VAMED continues to be on duty, even in remote regions of the world

On an International level, almost all the 95 countries in which VAMED operates were confronted with travel restrictions which made it more difficult or, in some cases, impossible to personally reach these areas. VAMED employees remained on location in many countries, frequently with their families, to make sure that projects were concluded or continued. Even in global regions such as South America which continue to be severely affected by the pandemic, VAMED teams continue to be on duty, and succeeded in completing construction work on hospitals and opening them, for example the new Point Fortin Hospital in Trinidad & Tobago.

VAMED also provided support in Africa in dealing with the pandemic, for example by planning and supplying a COVID-19 biomedical equipment package in Zambia, continuing construction work on four hospitals in the Ivory Coast or carrying out maintenance work on oxygen systems to ensure the flawless functioning of ventilation equipment in the capital city of Gabon. VAMED also completed five regional hospitals and one polyclinic in Ghana in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, all of which can now be put into operation.

Further development of healthcare systems after the pandemic

“The pandemic clearly showed where there are insufficient capacities and how important functioning healthcare structures are. The world will have to be better prepared in the future. Many countries are already strongly focusing on the further development of their healthcare systems after the end of the pandemic. VAMED is well positioned thanks to its holistic implementation and life cycle models, and is working on new solutions, from the digitalization of telemedicine and telerehabilitation to hybrid clinics”, emphasizes Dr. Ernst Wastler, CEO of VAMED AG.

The affordability and efficient increase of resources are also playing a major role in international post-COVID-19 challenges. Within the context of its life cycle projects, VAMED plans, builds and operates new facilities, all from a single source, and also offers the corresponding financial engineering for them.   

VAMED is successfully implementing the most comprehensive Public Private Partnership (PPP) project in the German healthcare sector with a total volume of € 1.7 billion in collaboration with the University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH). It is not only responsible for project management, new buildings and modernization measures, but also for ongoing technical operational management. In Abu Dhabi, VAMED finished work on a new life cycle project outside of Europe during the pandemic, namely Reem Hospital, encompassing a mother and child hospital with an adjacent acute care outpatient clinic and rehabilitation center.

Record level of orders on hand: VAMED provides access to the global market for 2,000 domestic SMEs

In the meantime, VAMED has successfully concluded 1,000 healthcare projects across the globe. all over the world. The company generated an order intake of more than € 1 billion in 2020 alone, the year of the coronavirus pandemic. Accordingly, orders on hand reached a record level of € 3.1 billion at the end of the year.

The global activities of VAMED not only help the local population but also people here in Austria. VAMED provides about 2,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with sustainable access to the global market, thus safeguarding thousands of jobs for Austrian subcontractors. 

At the present time, VAMED employs a workforce of approx. 23,200 people, of whom close to 10,000 are medical staff.  

On balance, VAMED generates consolidated annual sales of more than € 2 billion.

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VAMED – Austria’s Crisis Helper in Overcoming the Global Pandemic