The Centennial

Press Conference – Unione degli Industriali, Sala Cenzato  – 27 March 2019 at 11.00


  • Antonio Merlino – President, Clinica Ruesch
  • Francesco Merlino – General Director, Clinica Ruesch
  • Sergio Crispino – Regional President of AIOP 
  • Vincenzo Schiavone – President of Sezione Sanità dell’Unione Industriali 

Press Release

One hundred years of life, one hundred thousand births, one hundred free surgeries. These are the numbers that distinguish the celebration of the first century of “Ruesch”, the clinic on Viale Maria Cristina di Savoia, inaugurated in 1919 by the Swiss-born industrialist Arnoldo Ruesch.

On the calendar are initiatives that will be put in place, for the occasion, through the Ruesch Clinic Foundation, which is set up during 2019 and is tightly organized. Initiatives include prevention campaigns in the city’s most difficult neighborhoods, to perpetuate the solidarity tradition that inspired the birth of Ruesch.

As for the hundredth intervention, it is to be performed free of charge and there will be a work of “recruitment” which will involve, in addition to the Clinic, charitable and charitable organizations, non-profit organizations and public health institutions.

To illustrate the process of change and development carried out during the first hundred years of the Neapolitan structure – among the spearheads of good private health in the Campania region – to tell its history and illustrate the various stages of the initiatives planned for the extraordinary anniversary. With A watchful eye to the past, present and future are the brothers Antonio and Francesco Merlino, respectively President and General Manager, during a press conference in the Sala Cenzato of the Union of Industrialists of Naples.

“On the occasion of the Centennial – Antonio Merlino communicates – a Foundation will be created, whose mission is a noble purpose, consisting in the social commitment to the field of Health, with a spirit of solidarity, for the benefit of the less wealthy sections of the population, in line with the spirit of the original foundation.

The first planned initiative is to organize 100 free interventions, in collaboration and integration with local authorities, public hospitals and non-profit organizations, as well as prevention initiatives and projects aimed at improving health and social well-being in Naples and Campania. The initiatives of the Ruesch Clinic Foundation will have a permanent impact over time “.

“Ruesch began its first activities in 1919 at the behest of the Swiss-born industrialist Arnoldo Ruesch, owner of spinning mills in the Sarnese. He wanted to commemorate the memory of his brother Carlo Giorgio (to whom the name of the company is dedicated to), who tragically disappeared in a train accident in 1913 and with which he shared the dream of creating a modern hospital with specific characteristics and the mission of helping to support the health needs of the territory” recalls Antonio Merlino.

“In the document of 1916, which preceded the inauguration of the Clinic – he notes – the social commitment is highlighted for the benefit of the most humble social classes, favoring the assistance at no cost for the poor patients, and a wonderful example of before Welfare and Corporate Social Responsibility were present in the territory “.

“Arnoldo Ruesch – continues Merlino – emerged as an enlightened businessman with a marked sensibility for the community. In the absence of a stabilized health system still, he became an active part of the establishment Clinica Ruesch, to help satisfy the health needs of the weakest communities “.

“At the same time ordinary patients, sometimes even foreigners, workers of the spinning mills and their families, and the poor brought in by Ruesch himself were hosted and cared for completely free of charge. The nursing home, in the neighboring Villa Iandolo, was soon transferred – at the request of Elena d’Orleans, Duchess of Aosta (the so-called Red Cross duchess). The boarding school for professional nurses “Croce Azzurra”, the first school in Italy to use the method of Florence Nightingale, directed by the English Grace Baxter, was already present in Naples since 1896 “.

The Ruesch-Croce Azzurra collaboration lasted until the 1980s, when the boarding school closed. The school helped train thousands of Neapolitan nurses in a structured and modern way throughout the 20th century, which they later found in healthcare facilities throughout Italy. And still, some of the nurses from that school are serving at Ruesch.

From Elena of Orleans, in 1920 to Vittorio Emanuele III and Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy in 1922, to Maria José, princess of Piedmont (and future queen) in 1938: they were just some noble “visitors” who over the years went to the Clinic and whose signatures remain imprinted in the book of visits.

“Today Ruesch – explains Antonio Merlino – operates in the private and insured healthcare sector and interprets its role to complement the SSN system, to represent the pillar of Integrative Health in a synergic interaction with the latter.

The radical restructuring carried out in the years 2011-2012 has had the objective of relaunching its presence in the territory and has offered, health care services according to the changing needs of today and with the continuous evolution in the field”. It is the will to increase the synergies in the Territory and with the operating doctors to be ever closer to meeting the needs of both Italian and foreign patients “. , In support of the growing tourism system, with an ad hoc trained medical, nursing and administrative staff, we are able to interact in the language and to fulfill the particular management and bureaucratic requirements necessary when assisting a foreign patient “.

“Ruesch – notes the President – fully faces the challenges of the present and the future, which also means corporate and industrial concentration, and in many other sectors. The witness of the Clinica Ruesch in 100 years has been in the hands of many managements. In 2016 the company became owned (and subject to management and control) by GVM Care & Research, an Italian group operating in the private hospital at an international level (also present in Campania with the Clinica Montevergine) therefore, today it is a reference shareholder in GVM and in the Merlin and Del Genio families “.

“The Clinic – concludes Antonio Merlino – believes in a philosophy that places the patient at the center, invests in medical and digital-information technology, the quality of care, the clinical governance, the management and reduction of clinical risk, medical professionalism and high levels of assistance, as well as making sure that it is possible to obtain the execution of structured processes quickly in order to protect users and the overall quality of the service offered “.

The General Manager, Francesco Merlino discusses specifically into the “numbers” that characterize the activity of the nursing home. “Ruesch – he explains – has been promoting direct agreements with third parties for year. It collaborates with over 60 subjects including insurance and health funds, pension funds and mutual assistance, and international networks. It promotes innovative programs, combining technology and professionalism. From 2012 to date we have invested in new equipment, facilities and infrastructure modernization and 350 accredited surgeons and doctors are currently authorized to carry out their activities, including well-known professionals in generalist surgical branches (General Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology) , Urological Surgery, Maxillofacial, Endocrinology, Otorhinolaryngology, Breast Surgery, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Medically Assisted Procreation) as well as in imaging and laboratory diagnostics “.

The General Manager states: “This allowed us to give a concrete response to the territory, delivering over 50 thousand outpatient services and 5 thousand hospitalizations distributed among the various branches in 2018, carrying out both the tradition and the high level of personalized service at the same time. That innovation: we estimate, as a historical datum, that in 100 years about 400 thousand interventions have been carried out in Ruesch. A record is held by the Obstetrics, counting about one hundred thousand births from 1919 to today. Additionally Ruesch is equipped with High-profile surgical instruments, with the adoption of 3D laparoscopic techniques and the latest generation lasers and cutting-edge protocols. Robotic surgery has been tested and studied “.

With Predictive and Precision Medicine, Telemedicine and home care programs in place represent a part of the future of Health. Also by making use of European funds to research and develop projects make Ruesch a player in the health sector in Campania, in order to move with the times.

Back to the numbers, One hundred thousand Ruesch births, therefore we commemorate Francesco Merlino. This signifies that a real crowd of Neapolitans take pride in being birthed at Ruesch and not born at another clinic on Viale Cristina di Savoia. So much that a Facebook group has also arisen that has put many in touch: a concrete and modern way to create a link between those who were born in a place where professionalism meets humanity every day, as a testimony of a century’s love for the city they have lived in.

Naples, 27 March 2019


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