Hospital group gets makeover

South African private hospital group Mediclinic launched a crisp new brand identity during an exclusive media forum at The Pavilion Conference Centre in Cape Town earlier this week.

The revised Mediclinic brand depicts a lot more than a mere change of the corporation's logo and visual identity. Instead it demonstrates the group's commitment to align its past excellence to a brand that will continue to bring outstanding medical care to its patients – supported by deliberate scientific expertise – under a unified international umbrella.

International aspirations

"Our aspiration as a company is to become an international hospital group, not simply a group of hospitals in different countries. A unified group model brings strength. For that reason the one brand we readily and unanimously chose, was Mediclinic. We will no longer be Medi-Clinic Corporation, but instead Mediclinic International. We firmly believe that our new brand identity will become a living ethos that underpins the future success of our business," states Dr Edwin Hertzog, chairman of the group since its formation in 1983.

After strong growth in 2010, Mediclinic sees future opportunities in all its operational platforms – now only under the support of an orchestrated brand. The provision of a carefully-controlled environment – not only for patients, but also for medical practitioners – is pivotal to the group's future business planning. As such, Mediclinic continues to invest significantly to maintain, upgrade and expand hospitals to improve the company's global offering.

Profitability and sustainability

"As a group we are confident that the direction and focus of the internationally focused brand will contribute to the profitability and sustainability of the group. Although we remain three operating platforms with operations in Southern Africa, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, wewill function as an undeviating whole, while respecting each platform's flexibility and local significance," states Danie Meintjes, Chief Executive Officer of Mediclinic International and Chairman of Mediclinic Southern Africa.

Mediclinic Southern Africa will remain truthful to its local context. The South African platform aims to position itself as the preferred acute care private hospital service provider of the future through continued recruitment and retention of world-class medical practitioners that will feed South Africa's medical resource pipeline in the future.

"Mediclinic Southern Africa will keep its focus on verifiable cost effective quality care and patient satisfaction. We believe recruiting and retaining top class medical practitioners remains our strength. Our new brand rationale strengthens and supports our vision to help build a sustainable health future for South Africa," states Koert Pretorius, Chief Executive Officer of Mediclinic Southern Africa.

Affordable quality healthcare

"We support the government's policy to increase access to affordable quality healthcare services, and we are following with interest the process to develop a National Health Insurance (NHI) model for the country," continues Pretorius.

The fact that Mediclinic Southern Africa has the highest number of internationally accredited facilities in Southern Africa bodes well for the future. "Recent research indicates that 96% of patients would recommend the hospital group to friends and family and 97% of patients would also recommend the treating doctor. And, with access to a large community of medical specialists through the group's 68 hospitals and eight clinics, across three continents, patients will reap the benefits of our expertise. Locally, the placement of the right calibre personnel remains a key imperative to the company," states Pretorius.

Science to improve the lives of patients

The foundation of the new Mediclinic International brand lies in the application of rigorous science to improve the lives of patients. With five vibrant brand drivers identified – practical, exacting, deliberate, orchestrated and human – the integrity of the business is based on the use of state-of-the-art treatments and technologies to care for patients in an evidence-based environment.

But the patient remains central to the brand. "At any of the Mediclinic hospitals around the world, we want patients to feel that the brand is lived by all. Our main objective is to introduce patients to a carefully controlled environment, fashioned by a team of world-class experts who can guide them through a customised treatment process orchestrated to specifically deliver better outcomes," says Meintjes.

"Because we know our patients value our authority as much as our empathy, the Mediclinic brand seeks, at all times, a finely tuned balance between a scientific, expert-dominated approach and a considered, respectful human approach".

Rebranding journey

The rebranding journey has been a purposeful, integrated one. It kicked off with the appointment of a specialist branding agency. Mediclinic selected internationally-acclaimed branding specialist Landor, who guided the group through its significant investment in the rebrand journey.

Biren Valodia, Chief Marketing Officer for Mediclinic Southern Africa says it is an exciting time to be part of an international brand, as it truly helps to build the group's competitive edge and stimulates its presence in global markets.

"The new brand identity is underpinned by very deliberate and efficient marketing positioning. We apply evidenced-based science to improve – very consciously – our care process to customers. No claim will ever be made, no fact ever stated without the provision of substantial and credible proof. This is a very deliberate and efficient marketing proposition for our future," states Valodia.

Patients will recognise changes in their hospital from the exterior signage to the way they are welcomed at the door. "We are getting rid of the clutter, updating the signage and introducing intervention moments. Right from admission through finding their way inside the hospital, down torecovery and follow-up, we believe the new brand philosophy has the potential to transform and inspire our staff and delight our patients," concludes Valodia.

The new brand identity will be rolled out in Southern Africa and globally through a phased approach.

- Press release issued by Mediclinic

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