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A clinic with extensive roots

The origins off the Clinique des Grangettes go back to 1918, at the time of the Spanish influenza in Geneva. The current president of the establishment, Philippe Glatz, remains attuned to the place’s history. «It's good for a private clinic to have roots, a solid foundation upon which to continue developing in the future,» he emphasises.

As mentioned, the clinic was launched in the midst of the Spanish influenza epidemic in Geneva. But it did not become a hospital right away, is that correct?

Ph. G.: Precisely... in fact the founder, Barbara Borsinger, who was originally from Baden, Switzerland, realised that there were many orphans at the time and children who had been abandoned by their sick parents. They had to be given medical and social assistance as well. To give them shelter, she opened one house, then another, then a third … Finally, in 1933, she had a clinic built for adults and children. The building at the time had been particularly well designed, it was very modern and functional. Some parts of its structure still exist to this day and have been integrated into the current clinic.

Didn't the clinic decline somewhat at the end of the 1970s?

Ph. G.: It was not a decline, but rather the end of an époque. As of 1957, the Clinique des Grangettes was run by a religious order. At the end of the 1970s, they underwent a vocational crisis, one could say. At the same time, they decided to stop working in Geneva and devote themselves to work in developing nations.

When they left in 1979, the clinic was placed in the hands of a management committee and in 1987 it became a public company. One year later, we began an enormous programme of modernisation. We never denied our origins, however. On the contrary, we are proud of our history and our tradition. Besides, it is one of our strengths. Anybody can be modern and well-equipped nowadays. But being attentive to people, to their needs, nurturing that human approach as we have done right from the start, that is a lot more difficult… And that is why we do not wish to become too big. For us, a source of pride is the fact that we have personnel that has been working here for around thirty years already, we have midwives who are now meeting parents who they themselves helped deliver! The patients here meet some of their acquaintances! We are a big family in the service of families. And that is the way we would like to stay.

But you are going to enlarge the clinic, are you not?

Ph. G.: Naturally, one must continuously modernise, because in the medical field, if you are not advancing, you are going backwards. As we speak, we are in the process of finishing a complete renovation of the rooms in our original building. We were forced to admit that they no longer compared to the rooms in our new building. Since our vision is to be the best, we also wanted to offer our patients the best quality possible, so we launched that renovation project. The same applies for the medical equipment, which is constantly being updated.

This care for detail is one of our characteristics. Everything in the new rooms was examined to the last detail, from the audiovisual equipment, to the lights, passing by the Bourgogne stone used in the bathrooms. This striving for quality is not confined to the infrastructures, either. We also care for the ways and means. We are the only clinic in all of Switzerland that employs a chef with a Michelin star. Catering is managed by a maître d'hôtel who worked with Rochat and we have reserved over 35 francs per person, per day to purchase the products used to prepare our meals We have a well-earned reputation and we are working assiduously to maintain it.

In spite of these efforts, the Grangettes are always perceived by the general public as a maternity clinic, not as a complete clinic...

Ph. G.: That's true, our maternity ward is a little bit like the tree that hides the forest. It's understandable. We are, after all, the best and largest private maternity hospital in Switzerland. Nearly a quarter of all Genevans were born here! Everyone in this city knows someone born in the Grangettes. The maternity also generates an impressive number of visits! And let us not forget that birth is a happy event that people will talk about easily. People often tell their friends that their children were born at the Grangettes. But telling of a hospitalization for a knee problem or a urological illness is not obvious. And yet, the Grangettes complex is a complete clinic. Surgical services were provided right from the start We often accompany people throughout their lives, at joyful moments like a birth and at more trying times like during an illness or an operation. We also have high-quality cardiological or orthopaedic services. And let us not forget the Institute of Radiology, which numbers among the most esteemed in Europe!

Is it a clinic for everyone and for all illnesses?

Ph. G.: For everyone, yes, for young and old alike, for men and women, and for all the afflictions we treat at our various services.

Having said that, we do prioritise quality relationships, people who are looking for something extra, an atmosphere in which the individual is treated in a friendly and respectful manner. The Grangettes is not a factory providing anonymous care. By the way, that is what differentiates us from our competition. The other clinics are all very pretty, to be sure, but many people are searching for something more. The Grangettes is for them. That’s why we sometimes receive patients who own houses that are larger than our clinic, and why we are often picked by very well-known personalities, even crowned heads...