Medicover to invest millions in development of mental health center network
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Damian Medical Centre (CMD), part of Medicover, is building a network of mental health centers in the country’s largest cities under the banner of Mind Health Mental Health Centre. PMR predicts that the psychiatric care market in Poland will grow rapidly – by 6.9% this year and by an average of nearly 13% annually by 2026 in the psychiatric services segment and by over 17% in psychological services.
The company plans to invest tens of millions of zlotys in the project, Puls Biznesu reported, quoting Marek Kubicki, CMD executive board member, and Agnieszka Dziedzic-Pasik, managing director. CMD has offered psychiatry and counselling services ever since its founding in the 1990s. Three years ago it moved them into separate clinics. This year it began to expand the business beyond Warsaw, opening in Poznan in March, Wroclaw in May, Katowice in June and Krakow in November. It also adopted a new banner for the nascent chain, which currently includes six clinics.
The business has become so important as to justify the creation of a separate brand
Demand for such services has risen sharply in the pandemic, from individuals and employers alike – since 1 February 2021, the number of consultations has increased by two thirds compared with the same period in 2020. It is a market segment with strong growth prospects. Thus, in December CMD is opening a Mind Health site in Gdansk, and plans to open a further six locations in 2022. As well as expanding organically, the company will look at acquisitions, although the number of targets of a sufficient size is small, according to Mrs. Dziedzic-Pasik and Mr Kubicki.
Mental health currently accounts for just under 5% of CMD’s total revenue, but the share is expected to double in a short time, according to Mr Kubicki. CMD’s mental health revenue sources include fee for service, Medicover subscribers, and NFZ (National Health Fund), which two of the six clinics have contracts with. The company wants FFS (fee-for-service) eventually to account for 50% of the total, with the balance coming from other sources. Such a mix of revenue sources would ensure good margins while keeping the services accessible to all patients. Mental health is not the most profitable of medical segments due to its high personnel costs, however it is a growing one, and the extent of unmet need justifies the substantial investments, Mr Kubicki concluded.
The few private players of notable size in this segment include Allenort, which has several clinics and a hospital, or Centrum CBT, which has more than 10 sites. Medicover, the second largest healthcare provider in Poland by sales, acquired CMD, a major player on the Warsaw market, in 2008.
PMR found that last year the value of the psychiatric care market in Poland amounted to PLN 3.5bn and was slightly lower than the year before, mainly due to pandemic restrictions on patient admissions. However, it is expected to grow rapidly – this year by 6.9%, and by 2026 by an average of nearly 13% each year in the psychiatric services segment, and by more than 17% in psychological services.