The “Big Fish” of Romania’s Private Healthcare System

For the last 20 years, Medicover has provided services for the Romanian people. But between 1995 and 1996, Medicover’s competitors MedLife and Regina Maria also entered the Romanian market. Ever since, competition has been fierce between these three companies.

It is really interesting to notice that for the last few years, MedLife was the number one private healthcare system in Romania, while number two and number three constantly switched positions: one year, Medicover is the second largest private healthcare system and the next year, Regina Maria takes action and leaves Medicover with the bronze medal.

Right now, Medicover runs 16 clinics in Bucharest and in 6 other big cities throughout Romania plus one generalist hospital which was opened in 2012. When it opened, it was probably the most cost-efficient option for future mothers, because the hospital was new and built after high standards and its services were cheaper than its competitors’.

According to a study conducted last year, Medicover doesn’t have a big presence on TV, radio or newspapers, Regina Maria being the most present, followed by MedLife. The interesting fact though is that MedLife, which has the biggest turnover, does not bother with a social media presence , website SEO or online marketing. This indicates that people were just completely satisfied with the services and word-of-mouth is really working for the organisation as a marketing strategy.

On the subject of social media, it is notable that Regina Maria has the best website and most professional presence on all social media channels, except Twitter which is not commonly used in Romania. And as I named them in this article’s title, all these three “fishes” have developed mobile apps for iOS and Android, to make it easier for people to connect with them.

Even though Regina Maria is really well known in Romania, Medicover managed to be the pioneer in a few areas. For example, they launched the first mobile friendly website in the private healthcare industry. They have also launched the first online shop where anybody can buy their services for themselves or for their loved ones. It’s really easy in fact: you go on their website, you choose the service you need, you pay online, you receive your payment confirmation email and then somebody will call you to make an appointment. So this is really great marketing: they make you an offer, you buy it and then they call you for a follow-up. I believe this was a huge step ahead of the competition and I’m already looking forward to see the results next year. The impact of this strategy could bring them back on the second place, ahead of Regina Maria.

It is always interesting to watch the competition in a certain niche, but the sector of private healthcare systems it’s constantly developing and you, as one of the players, need to try to stay ahead of your competitors. You can do it by combining good quality services with innovative marketing. And I believe Medicover has great chances to win the silver medal again this year and maybe in a few years, they might even be the biggest fish in the sea.

Ioana Vasiloiu has a Master’s degree in International Relations gained in Bucharest – Romania, and also studied International Marketing in Poland. She has been working as a Social Media Coordinator for two years now and is enthusiastic about new developments in marketing.