The CHPG is the jewel in the crown of Monaco’s health services. It has the tech, the investments and the networks, but it also has the respect of its staff and patients after a challenging three years.
It’s been more than two years since the Centre Hospitalier Princesse Grace (CHPG) held its last annual review. The break was, of course, due to the pandemic and while Monaco is “learning to live with Covid”, the disease still got a mention from the hospital’s director, Benoîte Rousseau de Sevelinges.
“This crisis revealed to the public what the CHPG is: a responsive, efficient establishment endowed with technological and, above all, human capacities. During these almost three years, the Principality has been able to count on a solid hospital, whose agility has been decisive in maintaining economic and social activities.”
Rewarding its workers with pay rises and promotions
Even in Monaco, with all its unique worker benefits, the pandemic was tough on health workers. In a reflection of trends felt across the world’s health institutions, staff left for jobs in different industries and filling their empty posts has been a challenge for the CHPG. The hospital counteracted and, in 2022, increased salaries across the board and took the opportunity of vacant positions to promote loyal staff.
“From now on, doctors can claim retirement from the age of 60,” added Rousseau de Sevelinges. “Those in nursing professions will be able to continue to choose between retirement from 55 or 60.”
Both measures were well-received by the hospital’s 250 doctors, 2,660 other medical staff and 105 students.
Investment in technologies and equipment
Over the past three years, significant financial input from the Monegasque government as well as generous private donors have allowed the hospital to invest €20 million in state-of-the-art biomedical equipment, such as robotic systems to treat a range of issues from prostate and breast cancers to thyroid, pelvic and spinal problems. The purchase of a second surgical robot has helped position the CHPG as a leader in treating digestive issues as well as making it the largest gynaecological surgery centre in the region.
Other advancements made possible through donations include the hospital’s new cardiology facility, which is complemented by a partnership with the Scientific Centre of Monaco and its platform for the diagnosis, screening and sequencing of transmissible diseases.
“The psychiatry department has been partially renovated and will be completely renovated by the initial opening of the Nouvel Hôpital [expected in 2026],” said Rousseau de Sevelinges. “The Covid crisis led us to carry out new modernisation works in the pneumology department, and one summer was enough time to create the Critical Care Surgery Unit, which was a real support during the tensest periods.”
A private donation of €1.8 million during 2022 allowed the hospital to reorganise its emergency departments, which from spring will see adult and paediatric services grouped together in “more functional” premises.
Over in the Nouvel Hôpital sector, much of the work at the Princess Grace Pavilion is now complete, offering four floors of renovated spaces.
“It is now a question of recalibrating and locating the units as we will occupy them in 2026, in view of the evolution of public health needs and developments in medicine,” explained Rousseau de Sevelinges.
She also touched on the digitalisation efforts of the hospital, particularly its moves towards a 100% electronic patient record system, as well as the investments the CHPG is making to protect itself against potentially damaging cyber attacks.
Prince Albert II applauds “devotion” and “professionalism”
In the past 12 months, the CHPG has treated some 82,000 patients – 20,000 of them new to the hospital – and conducted almost 170,000 consultations. There were 45,000 visits to the hospital’s emergency departments. 90% of these patients said they would recommend the CHPG and 94% rated their stay with a score of eight out of 10.
These figures have impressed Prince Albert II, who was present at the event on Tuesday, likely hours before his own Covid positive result. He heaped praise on the hospital’s staff for their “devotion” and “professionalism” during the health crisis, and was keen to stress the importance of the hospital as a healthcare provider to the international attractiveness of the Principality.
Photo source: Stéphane Danna, Monaco Communications Department