What services differentiate your hospital?
We cater to the adult population and do not offer antenatal or pediatric services. We are particularly focused on neurosciences and deep neurostimulation, having also gained a reputation in neurosurgery. We perform the highest number of surgeries in Colombia and are also renowned for our orthopedic services. We are also strong in urology, oncology, and HIV, an area we entered in 1991.
What strategies are you implementing to up your technological strength?
The institution formerly had software developed in-house, but the programming language was not particularly compatible with our system. Today, we operate new software that connects all the information within the system, and the overarching goal is to become a digital, paperless hospital. Colombian regulation says the clinical history of the patient belongs to the insurance company. We seek to move the equipment for leasing or other financial services to be able to update it. Most of our professionals are used to being hired based on per-service contracts, and it is a challenge to change the system. It is difficult, for example, to tell a plastic surgeon to become a regular employee if it is more lucrative not to do so.
What is the potential of the medical tourism sector in Colombia?
Hospitals and clinics in Colombia are known for offering competitive prices and excellent quality. More and more people are choosing Colombia for cosmetic surgeries. Our institution, however, is not that focused on those services, although we can provide them. The main problem is that foreign insurance services do not cover patients in Colombia. We would require a regulation for the rates we can charge foreign patients. Also, there have to be advances in terms of language skills to be able to provide more bilingual services. All health institutions have to hold discussions in order to agree on the areas we will individually focus on. 6