Orpea has dismissed its Belgian general manager Geert Uytterschaut, the group of private retirement homes announced on Thursday. “Olivier Van Houtte has been appointed CEO Orpea Belgium to coordinate the necessary adjustments for Belgium. He will start his interviews and analyzes today”explains the press release.
On November 15, the group presented a refoundation plan aimed at restoring confidence with all the stakeholders. “The objective is to put the quality of care at the heart of the activities”says Orpea. “To achieve this, the group must find a sustainable financial structure and restore financial balance. The review of activity in Belgium revealed an unsatisfactory situation which requires adaptation.”
The group also states that “any conclusion or conjecture regarding the future of specific residences is premature” and indicates that the Belgian management team will guarantee “the continuity of care and services at each of its sites, at each stage of this transformation phase”.
Listed on the stock exchange, the group is indebted to the tune of 9.5 billion euros. The company obtained protection from its creditors and began negotiations with them to clean up its finances.
Orpea, which owns 350 nursing homes in France and manages around 60 in Belgium, found itself at the heart of a scandal in January after journalist Victor Castanet published his book The Gravediggers in which he denounces the practices of the group. He mentions in particular rationing, elderly people left in their excrement or deprived of care for several days.