A POINT OF REFERENCE

Jamaica 2019 | HEALTH | INTERVIEW

A strong and sustainable business is one that evolves with the needs of its customers.

Samuel Afonso
BIOGRAPHY
With a degree in business studies from the University of La Laguna (Canary Islands, Spain), Samuel Afonso began his professional career in the banking sector before moving into healthcare with the Hospiten Group in 2008. There, he spent more than a decade in the area of medical fees and as a director of the financial department. Since 2017, he has been the country manager for Jamaica.

What were some highlights of 2018?

We'll maintain the same lines of action we have been working on to date. Our goal is to offer excellent quality comprehensive health services by strengthening our medical specialties and expanding our portfolio of services.

What does being internationally certified by the ISO represent?

For us, the commitment to quality and the environment is very important, and this must be transmitted to all the staff. Achieving these certifications has a direct impact on the wellbeing of our patients, the guarantee of services, the motivation of our employees, and our economic efficiency. In 2017, the Hospiten Group also obtained the EFQM 500+ seal for European Excellence, issued by AENOR and awarded by the European Quality Management Foundation.

How do you maximize the awareness of the services provided?

The basis of our success is the excellent work of our collaborators and professionals and the way we treat our patients. We are aware that the results are not immediate, but they are constant and withstand the test of time.

How are you involved with the hospitality sector in Montego Bay?

For a tourist destination to be successful, it is essential that those who visit us feel safe. Should there be a health problem during their vacation, we offer them a quality, personalized solution. This is where Hospiten comes in. Our job is to offer every tourist that safety we are talking about, to meet their demands and give them whatever they need in terms of health care. Jamaica is becoming an attractive destination. The increase in the number of visitors will bring about an improvement in the different sectors of the economy, including the health sector.

How are you addressing the current gaps in healthcare services?

At present, we provide a health service that meets the demands of our patients. We are aware that with the passage of time this demand will change as the needs of our patients change. Adapting to change is our reason for being.

How is Hospiten committed to the development of the sector and Jamaican society?

Hospiten opened its doors for the first time in Jamaica nine years ago. For the group, it is very important to be in contact with the society around our centers and to develop activities reflecting corporate social responsibility that benefit our society in a direct manner through the development of social awareness campaigns, prevention campaigns, wellbeing, healthy lifestyles, or through actions with different groups in the community. For example, we are part of the Spanish Jamaica foundation, which aims to strengthen partnerships between Spain and Jamaica through educational, environmental, cultural, and health-based initiatives toward community development.

Can you tell us more about your operations and expansion model in the Caribbean and Central America?

The Hospiten group began its international expansion in 2000 in the Dominican Republic, specifically Punta Cana, and since then we have continued to grow steadily and now have 10 medical-hospital centers in Mexico, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Panama, in addition to the 10 centers we have in Spain, making a total of 20. Recently, we opened Hospiten Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. Our goal is to become a global leader in healthcare management in the markets in which we are currently present, to seek continuous improvement in the quality of patient care, and to continue growing steadily and surely.

What targets or expectations do you have for 2019?

By 2019, the aim of the Hospiten Group is to consolidate our presence in the markets we are already present in and continue meeting the demands of our patients, strengthening medical specialties, and improving the services we offer. Of course, we also want to continue being the hospital of reference in Montego Bay by responding to the healthcare needs of our patients.