Medical staff union Hospersa was startled (and not a little displeased) to discover that hospital giant Netcare is to outsource 37 pharmacies in its Medicross clinics, and the retail outlets in 51 hospitals, to Clicks, which quite frankly came as something of a surprise to us, too. The deal, which becomes active on October 1, has also got under the skin of the Independent Community Pharmacy Association, which sees it as a threat to small business and a further example of creeping corporatization. Currently, as you know, Clicks has 384 in-store pharmacies, with a 19% share of the market, so this arrangement will give the Group a significant bump, although neither Netcare nor Clicks are expecting a material impact on their bottom lines just yet. Clicks will absorb all Medicross and Netcare-branded pharmacy staff, but Hospersa remain miffed at the lack, as they see it, of advance notice.
Comment: Whatever else the impact, Clicks branding in the foyer of every Netcare hospital in the Beloved Country, is going to send a powerful and positive positioning message.