For patients having to undergo surgery and other forms of hospital treatment, the question of distance is more important than it may seem at first glance. Not only is it more convenient to go to a local hospital in order to carry out preliminary examinations, tests and whatever else may be required in connection with the actual hospital treatment, it is also easier for family and friends to visit and provide the moral support that may prove priceless for recovery.
When four clinics in Agen were integrated into Clinique Esquirol-Saint Hilaire in 2005, the idea was to consolidate all private clinics on one hand and secure the specialty and service mix required by patients on the other hand.
“We do not specialize in one direction. We specialize in a number of different fields,” says President Gérard Angotti, the founder’s son-in-law and member of the management for 40 years. “We started out as a surgical clinic and now carry out 16,000 operations per year. Our internal departments are staffed with their own pools of surgeons so that a qualified specialist is available at any time, night or day.”
Clinique Esquirol-Saint Hilaire was originally established by Dr. Esquirol. It is the only private clinic in the town of Agen now that the four existing clinics have been merged into one modern center with a new, purpose-designed building.
Clinique Esquirol-Saint Hilaire has 330 beds and employs 100 surgeons and doctors at present, all of them highly qualified specialists in their field. It offers surgical and medical treatment in virtually every field with the exception of open-heart surgery and neurosurgery.
The clinic’s surgical and obstetric facilities are complemented by advanced MRI and CT units and a chemotherapy department, which is located in a separate building.
“We serve a region with 450,000 inhabitants and treat some 30,000 in-house patients per year,” points out Mr. Angotti. “Moreover, we handle 25,000 emergencies every year. Also worth noting, quite a few of our patients are British, as many people from Britain come to our region for a holiday or retirement.”
The emergency department of Clinique Esquirol-Saint Hilaire is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “The unit was originally designed for 15,000 patients, so we are bursting at the seams,” comments Mr. Angotti. “We enjoy patients’ confidence, as the clinic’s surgeons are excellent and specialists in diverse fields. Moreover, we continue to invest in the most advanced medical equipment.”
Thus, little more than ten years after its restructuring, Clinique Esquirol-Saint Hilaire plans to expand its existing capacities substantially. The clinic will continue to pursue its successful concept of uniting specialization and diversity.
At the same time, it proves that a private clinic can be both cost-efficient and patient-oriented. “We are able to pursue a different price policy than public hospitals,” concludes Mr. Angotti. “Continuous investment is part of this policy and involves new IRM units, new scanners, new rhinology units and other high-tech systems that help to optimize diagnostics, treatment and patient care. Digitalization has made diagnostic data centrally available and even increased our efficiency.”