#makeithappen | From employee to sole shareholder: The story of the woman who owns Bio Ortoclinic, one of the top medical networks in Romania

Ioana Erdei 01/12/2019 | 07:30

Business Review continues its #MakeItHappen campaign to promote Romanian entrepreneurship. So far, we have presented dozens of inspirational stories about Romanians who transformed their passions, hobbies and knowledge into successful businesses. We’ve revealed the stories behind domestic businesses, regardless of their sizes and the sectors to which they belong, because we wanted to highlight the diversity and creativity of the Romanian business environment. Through this campaign, Business Review and CEC Bank are strengthening their commitment to be the primary source for information and financing for Romanian entrepreneurial initiatives. The #makeithappen campaign continues with the story of Bio Ortoclinic, an example of excellence in the medical field, which so far has treated over 20,000 patients with herniated discs, without surgery.

In 2007, Mihaela Proicea, a Law School graduate, got a job at a clinic that deals with spinal problems. A year later, she became the manager of that clinic, but her ambition did not stop there. She specialised in medical management and, in 2011, bought 50 percent of the company’s shares. Three years later, she became the sole shareholder of Bio Orthoclinic. Today, there are three open clinics and the expansion will continue, says the entrepreneur, with the help of CEC Bank, the bank that has funded the company’s expansion.

You have vast experience in medical management. Why did you choose this specialization?

I have a Law degree and 12 years of experience in the medical field. I attended courses on hospital management and quality management. At the same time, I am a European project manager in the medical area.

How was Bio Orthoclinic born and when?

Bio Orthoclinic was established in 2006, and I joined the project in 2007. As manager, I started in 2008, and then, since 2011, I have taken over 50% of the company’s shares. In 2014 we took over the full shareholding.

What is the mission of Bio Orthoclinic?

Our mission is to treat our patients with the highest level of professionalism and skill, developing our own treatment formulas. The quality of medical services must meet the highest standard, as satisfied patients are the best way to grow the business.

We have been on the market for 12 years and have extensive experience in the field of medical recovery for spinal disorders. We focus in particular on treating disc hernias without surgery. We are recognized across the country, but we also have patients coming from abroad. We have developed our own protocols over time, with great results, you can even say incredible results for many.

What sets you apart from the competition?

We distinguish ourselves through the personalized treatment that has made our patients seek us out and recommend us. We pay special attention to our patients, through a special quality management, highlighted by the number of doctors and medical staff that we assign to each patient. While elsewhere there is one physiotherapist treating 2-5 patients per hour, we have a physiotherapist available every hour, and a nurse or doctor visits each patient. We have created a personalized service, so when the patient feels pain, we change the treatment on the go. We act as a research center.

Therefore, these exceptional results have helped us surpass competitors and allowed us to build a good reputation in the treatment of disc herniation without surgery, even abroad. Our treatment style is suitable for medical tourism. As it is a high quality service, foreigners are attracted to our services. Foreigners and people who go abroad frequently and who would have the opportunity to go to see any clinic abroad, however, still choose to come to us. Especially in the summer, we have a very large number of Romanian patients who work abroad and come to be treated by us, as the prices are lower than in other countries.

Apart from Romanians working abroad, most foreign patients are from the Nordic countries. There are also those who come from countries like Austria on private insurance. Our services are internationally recognized and we have never been denied insurance.

How many clinics have you opened in the country under this brand and where? What are your expansion plans?

At this moment, under the Bio Orthoclinic brand, we have two clinics in Bucharest and two in Constanta. We will continue our expansion plan next year by opening two more clinics in two other cities in the country. In 2020, we want to expand the field of scoliosis medical recovery, by developing custom methods under the Bio Orthoclinic standard, starting from identifying patients using the latest technologies and reaching new methods of applying modern equipment in pain reduction in adults with scoliosis.

You are the sole shareholder of this business. What difficulties have you encountered in growing this business?

The greatest difficulties were related to recruitment. The workforce shortage in the medical field is very high and, implicitly, this has led to an increase in doctors’ salary demands. Another difficulty is identifying and attracting development resources. The following issue, I think, is the unfair competition of companies with a similar profile that pay their employees the minimum wage on paper, to avoid paying higher taxes.

2019 was a very difficult one, full of major changes, such as the implementation of a European project, investments in the Constanta clinic, the drawing up of new management directions to remain market leaders on treating disc herniation without surgery and the preparation for opening of a pediatrics department.

What are the most important business lessons you have learned throughout your experience?

As an entrepreneur, I’ve learned that you sometimes need a break so you can see things objectively. Then you have to work with the best people if you want to succeed! And last but not least, it is essential to keep your calm in the most difficult situations, because there is always a solution. You just have to accept it.

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