PATIENT’S CHOICE

Mexico 2017 | HEALTH & EDUCATION | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Miguel Castillo, Director General of Hospital Sedna, on the hospital's advantages in patient-oriented care and location, as well as its commitment to increasing access to healthcare.

Miguel Castillo
BIOGRAPHY
Miguel Castillo graduated from the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico with a degree in economics. He went on to specialize in corporate finance and health institutions at La Salle University. After this, he became the Director General of Innovaciones Electronicas VICA, where he stayed for seven years. In 2013, he joined Hospital Sedna as Project Manager as well as a member of the Finance Committee. He has held his current position of Director General of Hospital Sedna since 2015.

How would you characterize Hospital Sedna's role in Mexico's healthcare system?

This year is Hospital Sedna's 10th year in the industry. We began as a hospital focused on women and women's health. In our second year of operation, we expanded and became a general hospital. We call ourselves an integral hospital because we provide all of the integral services for recovering health, from full diagnostics in imaging and laboratory facilities to specialized operating rooms and intensive care units. We are in a special position—in both a geographic sense and in terms of our operations within the broader marketplace. We are located in the heart of the healthcare industry in the south of Mexico City, and we offer a high-level service with a professional staff at a reasonable price. We might not be the biggest hospital, but we can have a lot of influence based on the way we operate internally. Our focus is mainly on developing a service and people-oriented business. We think that the transformation of the entire country begins on a small scale with exactly the kinds of things we are doing here.

How people oriented is the healthcare industry in Mexico right now?

It is people oriented to a certain degree, but not enough. Our main value here at the hospital is patient safety, but our next value is service in a human sense. Too many institutions do not put enough focus on the quality of service. We think this is a fundamental aspect of healthcare. Patient wellbeing is not just about physical health, it is also emotional and psychological, and in great service we can optimize these aspects. We build close relationships with all of our patients.

Why does Hospital Sedna's geographic location allow it to offer a better service experience to patients?

The area that we are located in is an area that specializes in health services. We have a lot of public institutions and excellent private institutions near us. This means that patients can find many services in this area. By being here in this part of the city, we can take advantage of having the best professionals and practices while raising the overall quality of all the players. We offer great services at reasonable prices.

What is the role of the private sector in helping Mexico achieve universal access to healthcare?

Only the upper class in Mexico has private health insurance, and we are working to change that. A large percentage of the population is uninsured or underinsured, and we as a country have implemented a number of policies to help these people. Private hospitals are working as subcontractors for the government, and they take clients that public institutions do not have the capacity to care for. This helps by giving people access to services and raising the overall level of care in Mexico. The demand for healthcare is large right now, and it will explode over the next 20-30 years. Having a strong demand and fewer supply, gives private hospitals the opportunity to grow and expand. We serve patients with and without private insurance. Many people with public insurance are willing to pay a little extra to receive a better service in a private facility. We also treat a lot of people from Seguro Popular. Approximately 15-20% of our clients come from this segment, especially those receiving treatment for breast cancer. Furthermore, we see growth in the area of people who do not have private insurance as a key part of our business expansion opportunity. There are many small clinics that are doing surgical procedures, but they do not have the infrastructure of a hospital. Our main advantage in this environment is offering these services and infrastructure. We have advanced units that are affordable and with a personalized service. These areas of specialized care are the areas with the biggest potential for future growth.