What market opportunities has Médica Sur identified in the local health sector?
The main opportunities in the Mexican health sector revolve around the basic needs of our pa-tients. Many people do not have access to healthcare because private healthcare is expensive. The industry is trying to develop the best medicine at the best price. We try to be as effective as possible when it comes to our supply chain. Our goal is to have the best quality at a lower cost. We also collaborate with insurance companies to remain competitive. The market has become more competitive as there are more private hospitals than before. In the past 10 years, more than 20 new hospitals have entered the market, rising to the second level and providing general surgery services, orthopedics, and more. However, many are not highly specialized in neuroscience, cardiology, or oncology.
What is the main differentiator of Médica Sur?
We have one of the best processes in the country. We are certified by the Joint Commission International and are one of the only two hospitals in Mexico to achieve it. This places Médica Sur at the same level as hospitals in the US. Moreover, we are partners of the Mayo Clinic Care Network. We strive to have a competitive staff to keep the business efficient and sustainable. There is a thin line between ethics and business in medicine; Médica Sur has a clear vision on the ethics side, and we will always prioritize patients before money. Oncology, general surgery, and neurosurgery are the services that are high in demand. Cardiovascular disease is the top cause of death in Mexico.
What services will see great demand in the coming five years?
Everything is moving to outpatient services. The traditional model, wherein a patient recovers in a hospital for a long period, is diminishing, as the average stay of patients is currently 2.7 nights. Recovery times are faster, and procedures are less invasive. We seek to shift to outpatient services as much as possible, whereby patients are in and out of the hospital in less than 24 hours. The market is moving toward less expensive, aggressive, and invasive procedures.
How are you hoping to tap into medical tourism?
We have a department working hard on it, and we see more demand along the borders and in the Caribbean. In Mexico City, we see fewer but more complex cases. However, medical tourism is a great opportunity. We are working with partners around the world on this. Our idea is to develop a one-stop shop in which we provide a hotel on site, transporting the patient to the hospital from the airport.
How much will the hospital invest in new clinics?
In 2019, our budget is around MXN500 million (USD26 million), of which MXN300 million (USD15 million) is for hospitals and MXN200 million (USD10.5 million) for diagnostics clinics. For the past three years, we have been upgrading the hospital and our equipment, and opening new laboratories. We manage three brands: Médica Sur, La-boratorios Médicos Polanco, and Laboratorios Ruiz in Puebla. The hospital has a presence in six states, and we seek to enter new markets across Mexico. We have a presence in Mexico City, the State of Mexico, Tlaxcala, Puebla, Morelos, and Querétaro, and want to enter Yucatán and Quintana Roo soon. In 2017, for example, we realized our concept of a new high-end competitively prices clinic in Cuernavaca, Morelos.
How will the change in administration impact the health industry in Mexico?
We see a reduction in insurance policies, and many people in the public sector will lose their medical insurance policies. Insurance companies want to provide policies to retain those clients. We need to continue to provide the best prices and conditions so patients can continue to use private services and not be forced to use public health services.