Bridging healthcare in Saanenland

  16.02.2024 Local News, Healthcare, NewsUpdate

A glimmer of hope shines through for the residents of Saanenland as plans for a collaborative healthcare initiative take shape. The establishment of SarinaMed AG, a group practice located within the former Saanen hospital, marks a promising joint venture between the Saanen municipality and Gstaad International Healthcare AG. While renovation efforts are underway to prepare the facility, both the municipality and SarinaMed AG are actively seeking qualified medical professionals to join their team. With progress steadily unfolding, we delve deeper into this noteworthy development. A joint venture by the GIH and the Municipality

The project emerges as a beacon of hope for the residents of Saanenland, representing a collaborative effort between the Saanen municipality and Gstaad International Healthcare AG (GIH). This joint endeavour aims to establish and operate a medical care centre catering to the healthcare needs of Saanen and its surrounding regions. Petra Schläppi, a municipal councillor in Saanen, sheds light on the vision behind SarinaMed AG, emphasising the goal of establishing a group practice of general practitioners to serve the community.

Partnership and vision
Behind the inception of SarinaMed AG stands a partnership between the Saanen municipality and GIH, with each holding a significant stake in the venture. As Petra Schläppi elucidates, the municipality of Saanen owns 60% of the shares, while GIH possesses the remaining 40%. The Board of Directors comprises individuals with diverse expertise, including Dominik Unger, serving as chairman and project manager at GIH, Daniel Matti from the “Friends of Healthcare in the Saanenland” association, and Fabia Solenthaler, a local doctor in training. Their collective knowledge and experience drive the project forward with purpose and conviction.

Renovating the old Saanen hospital
The focal point of SarinaMed’s endeavour is the transformation of the old Saanen hospital into a modern group practice facility. Renovation efforts, funded in part by a municipal council referendum, are underway to refurbish the hospital’s first-floor extension. The envisioned practice space will feature multiple examination rooms, a reception area, and a waiting room, along with essential medical equipment such as an X-ray machine and a laboratory. Completion of the renovation project is anticipated by the end of February, marking a significant milestone in the realisation of SarinaMed’s mission.

At its core, the SarinaMed project aligns with the shared objective of the Saanen municipality and GIH to address the pressing need for enhanced medical services in the region. Petra Schläppi underscores the importance of ensuring access to primary healthcare for residents, a sentiment echoed by Markus Iseli, Communications Officer at GIH. For GIH, SarinaMed AG represents a pivotal step towards realising their long-standing commitment to improving basic medical care and fostering community well-being.

Recruiting talent: staffing the group practice
While SarinaMed AG has garnered interest from potential medical professionals, recruitment efforts are still underway. Dominik Unger, speaking on behalf of SarinaMed, expresses optimism about securing qualified general practitioners and medical practice assistants to staff the facility. SarinaMed is collaborating with Praxamed Center AG to identify suitable candidates, aiming to create an attractive and sustainable work environment conducive to long-term employment.

In support of SarinaMed AG’s mission, the municipality of Saanen pledges to provide logistical support, including infrastructure setup and leasing arrangements. Petra Schläppi emphasises the municipality’s commitment to facilitating the establishment of SarinaMed AG while offering opportunities for future financial involvement from the medical professionals involved.

Toward a brighter future
As SarinaMed moves forward with its vision, GIH’s overarching healthcare project continues to evolve. When the Saanen municipal assembly approves further development and planning efforts, it underscores the project’s strategic importance. Markus Iseli reveals plans to integrate the group practice into GIH’s broader concept, with potential considerations for the utilisation of existing hospital structures. With Dominik Unger assuming the role of Project Manager, GIH remains steadfast in its dedication to realising a comprehensive healthcare initiative for the benefit of the community.

As the project takes shape, its impact promises to extend far beyond the confines of the old Saanen hospital, enriching the lives of residents and exemplifying the potential of collective action in pursuit of a common goal.


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