In order for a healthcare player like the LNS to fulfil its central role in times of crisis, many competencies are required. At the centre of it all, of course, are the different health experts. However, their contribution to the handling of the COVID-19 crisis would not have been possible without expertise in the fields of Human Resources, Information Technology, Infrastructure & Logistics and, last but certainly not least: Finance.
The four above-mentioned services are the pillars of the Department of Administration, Finance and Support Services, and have formed the backbone of the LNS in the fight against COVID-19 from the very beginning, as Alain Leriche, Financial Director a.i., summarises: “Even in normal times, a modern laboratory like the LNS is a highly diversified organisation with very specific demands in terms of staff, technology and infrastructure. This requires solid and sustainable financing – even more so when you suddenly become one of the most important players in the entire country.”
|This is exactly what happened in March 2020, Alain Leriche continues, when the sudden leap into the limelight took place – numerous imponderables included: ”At that time, we did not know what exactly was in store for the LNS, or for the country as whole, for that matter. However, it was clear to all of us from the outset that something serious was happening that we would have to adapt to very quickly. For our Finance service, this meant that we had to prepare for a situation in which significant purchases would have to be made – and the corresponding funds made available.”|
This situation did indeed occur, and the associated expenditure had to be made in a wide variety of areas, as Alain Leriche explains: “They ranged from the comprehensive purchase of protective clothing to investments in test infrastructure to unforeseen personnel and IT costs. In the case of the latter, the extensive conversion to home office mode turned out to be an unexpected source of costs.”
Against this backdrop, Alain Leriche continues, reliable processes within the Finance Service were of course also crucial: “Since many of the purchases made were very urgent, the corresponding payments also had to be made quickly. Conversely, the LNS is also a service provider, for instance, to private laboratories. We therefore have to pay attention to efficiency in our own invoicing. This is also important with regards to our stakeholders, who trust in our professionalism.”
The LNS has proved worthy of this trust, as Alain Leriche underlines: “We received a lot of positive feedback from our stakeholders during 2020. The basic tenor is that we are responsible and efficient with the resources we have been given. For all of us, this is a confirmation of the quality of our work – and also an obligation. It certainly bears saying that this would not have been possible, for example, if our public partners had not supported us from the outset. And of course, it is the result of the flexibility, the team spirit and the individual commitment of our people.”
Download the LNS Annual Report 2020: https://lns.lu/publication/annual-report-2020/