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New technologies and advanced medical devices have improved diagnostics and increased treatment options but for small clinics and hospitals, modernization that offers a wider array of solutions for patients represents an additional financial strain, says Fernando de Obeso, Director General of Salud Fácil. “Most large hospital groups work in partnership with banking institutions and do not face challenges in obtaining financing for acquiring new diagnostic and treatment technologies. However, small hospitals and clinics have a hard time accessing these funds,” he says.
Salud Fácil has taken on the task of providing leasing options for medical equipment so that small clinics now have that option. “We believe that the biggest opportunity lies in small and medium-sized clinics and hospitals in the country. Our bet is that through our leasing options, they will want to modernize their equipment and thus improve their quality and offer new services.”
The Mexican company is dedicated to financing any type of medical equipment to doctors and hospitals in addition to offering financing to individuals for surgeries, treatment or other medical necessities. It has developed the needed expertise in the sector to position as a competitive alternative to larger financial institutions, de Obeso says. “Leasing operations are more complex than credit itself because they involve different risk variables. However, our advantage is that we can offer personalized solutions to our clients, which is something a banking institution cannot do.”
Backed by national and international investors, de Obeso says Salud Fácil offers competitive interest rates when compared with other financing options. “Although all our international investors are investment funds, we also have national private individuals who invest in our operations.” Salud Fácil has attracted such attention mainly because of the social impact the company has. “Many investment funds have a mandate to invest in projects with social impact. Moreover, they have to diversify their portfolio and the health sector offers attractive opportunities in the country,” he says.
Given that Salud Fácil’s core is leasing and providing credits to patients, the company does not force clients to use a specific brand or model. “Usually, when the client gets to us, they already know the brand and model they want and have a notion of the price. Our job is to facilitate leasing and we offer transparency throughout the entire process,” says de Obeso. As part of its commitment to provide access to new technologies to hospitals, clinics and patients, Salud Fácil signed an alliance with Boston Scientific. “The main purpose of this alliance is to find a way to make new and innovative equipment accessible to patients. We are aware that there are new technologies that can be used to treat diseases and that the public health system in the country is limited when offering support to companies, so the goal of this alliance is to give smaller clinics and patients access to the latest technologies in an affordable way.”
The company started operating in 2013. It started offering leasing services three years ago and the area now represent 70 percent of its business activity. However, de Obeso believes growth opportunities in the short term will come from financing for patients rather than for medical equipment. “It appears that subrogated private services will disappear, which means people will have to pay more for certain services at private hospitals. In these cases, credit will be a good alternative.”
Should subrogated services in private hospitals disappear, and considering that Mexico has around one-third of the health infrastructure it needs, growth opportunities for Salud Fácil would multiply, according to de Obeso. The company has an open scheme to work with all hospitals, providing the needed flexibility to meet patient requirements.
Although Salud Fácil is only physically present in Mexico City and Guadalajara, de Obeso says technology will increase coverage to the entire country for both patients and hospitals looking for leasing alternatives. He is confident that even though the company does not have plans to open new offices, it will continue experiencing significant growth. “We want to double our operations in the coming years in terms of leased equipment and patients.”