“Olivier Van Houtte has been appointed CEO of Orpea Belgium to coordinate the necessary adjustments for Belgium. He will begin his interviews and analysis today,” the press release said.
On November 15, the group presented a re-establishment plan to restore confidence among all stakeholders. “The goal is to put quality of care at the heart of operations,” says Orpea. “To achieve this, the group must find a sustainable financial structure and restore financial balance. The evaluation of the activity in Belgium revealed an unsatisfactory situation that requires adjustment”.
The group also specifies that “any conclusion or guess regarding the future of the specific homes is premature” and indicates that the Belgian management team “will ensure the continuity of care and service on each of its sites, at every stage of this phase transformation”.
The listed group has a debt 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 retirement homes in France and manages about 60 in Belgium, was at the center of a scandal in January after journalist Victor Castanet published his book “Les Fossoyeurs” denouncing the group’s practices. In particular, he mentions rationing, the elderly being left in their excrement or deprived of care for days.