Belfast Telegraph

Company Report - Ulster Independent Clinic

By John Simpson

The Ulster Independent Clinic in Belfast is a large and successful private sector charitable hospital.

Locally, there are now at least four hospital type independent health providers based outside the public sector.

The revenue earned by the clinic from patients’ fees continues to increase, reflecting the level of medical activity year by year. In recent years, the rate of increase has been much slower than in the years before 2009.  Twelve years ago, patient fees received by the clinic were just over £11m. More recently, they reached just over £24m in 2014-15.

The clinic is a non-profit distributing charitable company, limited by guarantee.  It reports to its 10 members through its board of directors. The clinic earns a relatively stable annual surplus, or profit, on its operations. The annual surplus peaked in 2009-10 at £2.6m. Since then, it has decreased to £1.2m in 2013-14, but increased again in 2014-15 to nearly £1.5m.

In 2014-15, average employment fell by 4% to 321 people. The clinic provides a defined benefit pension plan for some staff. The pension scheme is designed to reflect a member’s career average salary, rather than the final salary of the former scheme. 

The actuarial deficit on the pension scheme, as reflected in the accounts, has varied from year to year, but increased from £3.2m at the end of the last year to £4.2m at April 2015.

The accounts of the clinic do not include the professional charges paid to the medical staff. Professional medical fees are paid directly by patients.

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