The social development bank for Europe


CEB’s first loan to the Region of Madeira in Portugal to improve health services

28 September 2021

PARIS – The Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) has approved its first loan to the Autonomous Region of Madeira in Portugal, worth € 158.7 million. It will co-finance the construction and equipment of a new Madeira Central Hospital, thus providing the island’s resident population and visitors with improved quality and access to public healthcare services.

The new hospital with 565 beds will be constructed in Madeira’s capital Funchal and will replace the existing one operating from two sites.

Consistent with new trends, the hospital will have a smaller number of inpatient beds while providing significantly higher capacities in terms of ambulatory, as well as day and short-term treatment. Moreover, the new hospital will be designed to reach significant energy savings, with 38 per cent of energy coming from renewable sources.

“This project is distinct because it enables closer integration of hospital services that were operating from different sites, in a new state of the art facility,” said CEB Governor Rolf Wenzel. “It is envisioned to have a high social impact because it will provide access to modern and quality healthcare services for Madeira’s residents and visitors, with better management of human resources and modern technology.”

Additional economic benefits of the project include significant savings due to the reduction of the number of patients sent to mainland, and better working and learning conditions for the staff and nascent faculty of medicine in Madeira. 

The direct beneficiaries of the project will be Madeira’s 255 000 residents, and potentially some 1.5 million visitors that come to the island every year. 

A CEB member since August 1976, Portugal has cooperated with the Bank in several areas. Over the years, the CEB has provided financing to help Portugal respond to numerous challenges to social cohesion, such as ageing, migration, rising regional disparities, urban rehabiitation and revitalisation, and climate change. For more information see here.

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 42 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable, AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive and AAA* with Scope Ratings, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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