Keeping the boss healthy: US clinics open their doors to Latin American executives.

Author:Ramirez, David
Position:HEALTH-TOP MANAGEMENT
 
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Several US clinics and hospitals are offering health checkups for Latin American executives. Although preventive health is a growing trend, more awareness is needed to obtain better results.

The effects of work-related stress on executives points to a growing need to change life habits --such as exercising more often, eating smarter diets, and getting preventive medical checkups. Many institutions based in the United States are an option for the checkups, which are often part of a corporate health plan.

The average base cost for checkups is around $2,500, and they can be done in clinics or hospitals of cities close to the region such as Miami or Houston. In general, the clinics consulted by Latin Trade offer programs that last about a day in which the executive is subjected to, among other things, blood tests, hearing and vision tests, chest X-rays, and other examinations. But the checkups can also include stress tests, scans of specific organs, and certification of vaccinations. The checkup concludes with a talk with the doctor who analyzes the results and recommends follow-up treatment, if needed.

THE BIGGEST USERS: CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN EXECS

The health program for international executives at the Baptist Health South Florida in Miami, Florida, is used by about 10,000 mid- and high-level executives each year, most of them from the Cayman Islands, Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic, according to Ana Viamonte-Ros, M.D., the director of medical staff development for Baptist Health International. "The program was born from the need among the patients -employees of large companies--for this service as part of the benefits package offered by their employers," Viamonte-Ros told Latin Trade. The benefits of the program are marketed in 13 Latin American countries and Baptist Health South Florida, like its competitors, promotes the service in association with insurers, professional groups, universities, and hospitals.

Viamonte thinks the competitive advantage of her hospital comes from customer satisfaction. Word of mouth from a satisfied customer is the best publicity, after all. But the location of Baptist Health South Florida also counts, since it is only a few hours distant by plane from several countries in the region.

Geographic location and the prestige of the city of Houston, Texas, as a global hub of health services are advantages for an executive-oriented program like the one at St. Luke's Medical Center, which also works in...

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