>@Tim Smit/EIB

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and ETZ Hospital (Elisabeth-TweeSteden Ziekenhuis) on Monday signed a EUR 43m credit agreement to support the modernisation of the hospital's sites in Tilburg and Waalwijk.

The funding will be used to modernise the existing buildings and facilities, and to introduce a new electronic patient record (EPR). This will enable the ETZ to work more efficiently, and will contribute to the bundling of care. Birth care will be concentrated in a new Mother and Child Centre at the ETZ Elisabeth site in Tilburg.

“The European directives on care are very clear about the importance of eHealth, which is high on the ETZ's agenda. The reorganisation and modernisation of the facilities will enable the ETZ to provide an even higher quality of care. The Bank considers this a good reason for supporting the project,” said EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom. “There were clear signals from the market asking the EIB to provide funding to this sector. This is the first time that the EIB has granted support to a top clinical hospital in the Netherlands, and it will certainly not be the last time.”

Bart Berden, Chairman of the ETZ Board, added: “By obtaining funding on favourable terms from the EIB, we are able to free up more money for patient care. For many hospitals, the high risks and low returns make it increasingly difficult to attract external funding. For this reason, we thought outside the box and asked Fitch Ratings to test our credit rating last year. The A-rating we were awarded ensures that we have lower capital costs. We are also very streamlined from a financial perspective. We are proud of that.”

The deployment of the EPR at all hospital sites ensures that healthcare providers have better and easier access to information, resulting in a more efficient workflow. The ETZ's buildings will also be more energy-efficient after the renovation works.