The North Eyes South: Models that could change the face of healthcare services in the Americas.

Author:Pelaez, Zayra
Position:Healthcare
 
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The rising cost of healthcare services in the United States has revived the curiosity about alliances and purchases of health providers in Latin America, with the increasing interest of patients who now seek treatment in Mexico City or Panama City. This is not new, but it does have its interesting novelties. On one hand, some of these partnerships are already showing results, on the other, more and more health multilatinas are interested in expanding to the region.

In the U.S., Methodist International, a Methodist Hospital System subsidiary based in Houston, Texas, has developed an affiliation model with several institutions in Mexico and in the Middle East, both in Dubai and in Abu Dhabi. In Mexico, where they affiliated their brand with ABC Medical Center in Mexico City, and with TecSalud in Monterrey, is the best example of how this model can drive the development of the healthcare sector in the region.

Marcie Guzman, vice president of global development for the Americas, is sure that the future of healthcare in the hemisphere is based in affiliation and collaboration models: "ABC Center went from not having an oncology department to building a world-class cancer center with technologies only owned at the time by the Mexican public health sector," Guzman says. As it is not feasible to have every patient come to the U.S., they decided to develop the critical infrastructure so that healthcare can be delivered locally: "our commitment lies on assuring that every component of this infrastructure will be at the first level, and I don't mean just buildings, I mean technology, support networks, nursing, medicines, everything that defines the service. Our professional teams are in constant contact with their counterparts in each country, evaluating performance, adjusting strategies," she added.

Methodist International's model combines the medical training for health professionals, the improvement of affiliated locations, and the development of strategies involving best practices, leading-edge technology, advisory and management. With this same model of affiliation and collaboration they participate in Central America and the Caribbean, they are starting to generate opportunities in Colombia and Brazil, and soon enough they will be exploring Ecuador.

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