Comment by the CEO

Digitalization and specialization show the way forward

Healthcare where you are and when you need it. During 2017, we started our digital development by helping our patients either on a fully digital basis, or in combination with our primary and specialized physical healthcare. Digitalization is an important route to better and faster healthcare.

Specialization will ensure healthcare of higher quality without waiting time. We took some important steps in 2017; in Sweden, we created fully specialized orthopedics activities under shared management; and in France we commenced the transition towards specialization and streamlining of our 22 hospitals and specialist clinics. Specialization is now continuing in all countries, to improve medical quality and drive productivity to achieve better resource utilization without waiting times.

The Group’s financial development in 2017 was challenged once again by significant price reductions in France and lower market growth in the French market during some parts of the year. Our efforts to counter this resulted in sound development in the fourth quarter and we are now ready to speed up
the rates of digitalization and specialization throughout the Group, in order to increase growth and margin development.