Since autumn of last year, the Andreas Klinik in Cham and the Ennetsee Care Centre have been run by Jonas Zollinger. In an interview with a journalist of the Zuger Zeitung, he spoke about the challenges the clinic faces along with how all the latest developments were progressing. One aspect, however, he kept secret, as this is to be a surprise.
Prior to taking up his appointment here in Cham, Zollinger, who comes from eastern Switzerland, was responsible for the hotel side and infrastructure at the St Anna Hirslanden clinic in Lucerne, as well as being a director. With extensions going on at the care centre here, he is able to put his experience in infrastructure to good use.
Zollinger explained that the current trend was for practice centres offering various areas of competence to be located at one site, this one, the Lorze Medical Centre, on the premises of the former Hotel Lorze, benefits from a very central location on Dorfplatz, the clinic itself only round the corner.
Zollinger explained that 80 per cent of the space available to doctors at the new centre had been let out, with the first surgeries opening in July. He mentioned that one of those opening a practice there would be Andreas Günthert, the former senior doctor at the women’s clinic at the Lucerne Cantonal Hospital, who would now be able to offer his services in both cantons. The special aspect about Günthert’s surgeries is that they are staffed by women only. What is also important for him is that waiting times are reduced, hence, should a mammography be needed, he need only call up the clinic and it can be done within two hours. Günthert will be an addition to the current gynaecological team. What is more, it should not be forgotten the number of births is on the up; at least this is a pleasant reason for the necessity of being admitted to a hospital.
In addition to Günthert’s gynaecological expertise, two neurologists, Ines Naumburger and Annett Ramseier, will be moving there. They both currently work at the Cantonal Hospital in Baar but are now setting up on their own. Then a specialist in rheumatology is also moving there, general practitioners, too. In addition to medical services, there will be a café on the ground floor, also run by the clinic. It is hoped this will contribute to the livening up of the Dorfplatz area. “And then there is to be a surprise, something quite new to the region and taking up two floors of the centre,” said Zollinger, but declined to go into detail.
Meanwhile, over at the clinic itself, not only are extensions being built but a totally new building, a two-storey one for administration purposes.
Zollinger reminded the journalist the main aim of the clinic was to provide high quality basic medical treatment, not forgetting emergency consultations, too, as there was increased demand for this. Last year the clinic provided as many as 4,000 of them, up by 10 per cent. While last year there was only one room available for treating emergencies, now up to five doctors covering a wide range of fields are on call, and the are facilities bigger, too. “We are looking to extend further in this area to keep waiting times down.” he added.
When asked if the clinic was able to lure all the staff it needed, Zollinger pointed out that the canton had imposed restrictions on doctors moving here who had not completed a minimum three-year stint at a Swiss institute of further training and this had led to some patients heading to other cantons for specialist treatment, meaning a loss for the canton’s economy, too.
Then there was a lack of specialist care staff, too, which is why the clinic endeavours to train them itself. While the number of beds available had risen to 80, staff to man them was required too, of course.
Looking at improving the rooms, Zollinger said how a hotel designer had been consulted on this, some rooms having wooden floors and coffee machines.
As to the cost of it all, including extending the emergency area and the acquisition of a second magnetic resonance imaging machine for the x-ray department, Zollinger said this all amounted to CHF 7 million.
As to the current trend for people to be treated as out-patients rather than be admitted, Zollinger admitted that basically this was a good thing, and common practice abroad, though some patients were surprised that they were expected to leave after an operation, rather than stay there. This was related to costs of out-patient treatment, as this was not reimbursed to the same extent treatment for in-patients was. However, at the Andreas clinic, provision was made for patients to stay after they had had an operation if they so wished, a service which was to be optimised, too. One awkward matter in this regard at present is the fact that the State and cantons do not agree on what is appropriate to be treated as an out-patient as what as an in-patient. Whether a patient was able to stay after an operation was often dependent on what his home canton ruled.
The journalist who conducted this interview was Christopher Gilb.