Ms. Hélène Echevin is the Executive Chairperson of C-Care (Mauritius) Ltd. and the Chief Executive Officer & Director of CIEL Healthcare Ltd. Since joining CIEL in March 2017, Hélène Echevin has played a key role in developing CIEL’s healthcare portfolio and in leading CIEL’s operational excellence journey.
Prior to joining CIEL, Hélène Echevin worked for Eclosia Group and accumulated 17 years of experience in operations and project management, at both company and corporate levels. Hélène Echevin was the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce’s first lady president.She is also a member of the board of CIEL Textile Ltd, Sun Ltd and Maurilait Ltd.
The following are some highlights from the interview between World’s Leaders and Hélène Echevin:
What was your key driving force to join the health sector?
I think I was shaped to serve others from a very young age. Healthcare gives a greater sense of purpose than any other sector I have been in. Despite the continuous challenges, you really feel that you are doing something good for society, and this is extremely rewarding.
Tell us about the company and its comprehensive health services.
The Group is the leading private healthcare provider in Mauritius and Uganda, with:
There are 2 main hospitals in Mauritius: Clinique Darné and Wellkin Hospital.
1 main hospital in Uganda-IHK
20 primary care clinics—C-Care Clinics and IMCs
1 medical lab company, C-Lab including 10 collection centres across the island of Mauritius and 18 labs in Uganda.
We believe in offering a continuum of care while continuously investing in our human capital resources, which are the backbone of our healthcare system, hence our recent collaboration with a local partner to set up a nursing school.
As a healthcare leader, what are three areas of society, industry, or people’s lives that you would like to see improved?
Access to good quality healthcare-
In our region, there is still so much to do to help people to take care of their health and of themselves.
This is ultimately linked to the quality of education:
Great emphasis should continuously be put on education so that people better understand the importance of prevention and that more clinical staff are trained across the world.
Access to medical expertise: quality nurses and doctors to serve our cause.
In your most recent role, how did you foster ethical behaviour in your team?
First of all, it is about walking the talk: as a leader, what do I do? What should I say? What do I accept or not? All these are important signals.
Then, it is about the governance: setting up a code of ethics and all related procedures around it. And after that, it is making sure contracts exist between the organisation and key stakeholders so that the rules are clearly defined.
Tell us about your vision and mission for the company. Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
We want to improve the quality of life in East Africa and meet the increasing need for quality healthcare. To achieve that, we will continue to invest in countries we currently are and grow our presence in other markets of the region.
What advice would you give someone who is aspiring to join the industry?
It is a very personally enriching and challenging industry: so if you have a bright mind and a positive attitude, you will have fun and never get bored. If you put your heart, mind and soul into it, there is nothing you can’t do!
It is managing a hotel and adding on top of it all the complexity of medical and clinical services. It is about changing people’s lives, and by so doing, gives an extraordinary sense of purpose. But it is all about hard work: you cannot miss it in healthcare; there is not really a “second chance” when you take care of a patient. So you better be very quality-driven and take pride in it.
Each leader has his or her own notion of success. Tell us about your views on success and why you think that way.
Success is about having a positive influence on society and actively participating in making it better for the next generation. Success is about transmission: what can I do well today to serve tomorrow. And Success is about self-development: become a better person. But success is also about tangible results: results count and speak for themselves.
Share some patient or client testimonials that show how satisfied they are with current service levels.
Testimonials received are across departments. For example, we performed the first endoscopic lumbar discectomy at Wellkin Hospital in May 2021. The patient used to suffer from lower back pain which got worse over time and reached a point where it seriously affected her mobility. Surgery was the only recourse available so that she could resume her activities and, above all, no longer suffer from her back. After an MRI, we opted for an endoscopic lumbar discectomy. It is a minimally invasive spine surgery that has many benefits for patients.
“I lived with this pain for a while, but it had become unbearable. Dr. Karunagaran took a long time to explain to me how the operation would go. Before that, I had never heard of this technique. After the surgery, I immediately felt better. I can now walk again, even though I was in a wheelchair not so long ago. I hope to return to work in the coming weeks and maybe even start driving again”, “says the patient, who is 50 years old.