Graz University Hospital is undertaking an extensive enlargement and refurbishment programme running until 2022 in a bid to improve its future performance as Austria’s second biggest university hospital. The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing a loan of €220 million for this multi-annual investment programme. The two parties signed the loan agreement on 2 December 2013 in Graz.

Graz Regional University Hospital (LKH), to use its full name, is Styria’s central hospital. It houses the full range of medical services and operates as a university hospital for the whole of southern Austria. The vast complex comprises 20 university clinics, 44 clinical departments, 58 nursing wards, 10 intensive care units, 9 operating theatres and 16 outpatients areas. Some 385 000 people a year receive treatment in the outpatients departments alone and around 84 000 inpatients are admitted each year. The hospital has 1 500 beds.

Graz University Hospital began life in 1912 as Europe’s biggest and most modern hospital. Since then the complex has been modernised and enlarged several times. Following the successful implementation of a first extensive investment programme – “LKH 2000” – over the period 1991-2013, a second phase named “LKH 2020” is due to start under an agreement between Styria and the Austrian Government. Consisting of nine large schemes to develop the existing complex, the programme is scheduled for completion in 2022. Its aim is to ensure the university hospital’s continued performance as a specialised tertiary healthcare provider and one of the country’s most important research and teaching hospitals.

Wilhelm Molterer, the EIB Vice-President responsible for operations in Austria, signed the loan agreement on behalf of the Bank, saying: “Graz University Hospital provides the highest level of medical services – in Styria and far beyond. As a university hospital it is also one of Austria’s leading research institutions. It needs to invest so that it can continue to provide reliable top-class patient care in the future. And the EIB is its ideal partner for this, as the EU’s bank has long been involved in financing health and research projects.”

Regional finance official Bettina Vollath signed the agreement on behalf of Styria as the representative of the owner of the region’s hospitals, saying: “In the European Investment Bank, Styria has a strong partner for its long-term investment in hospital infrastructure”.