Médica Sur Celebrates 40 Years of Helping PatientsBy Miriam Bello | Wed, 03/16/2022 - 11:52
Q: How has tech revolutionized care in terms of physical and remote attention?
A: There has been a push to incorporate technological services that bring the patient closer to the doctor. Therapeutic treatments have also advanced. We have invested in economic and human resources to help patients. Many hospitals and countries were not prepared for the COVID-19 crisis, which led to a large cost of life. But the pandemic also led many hospitals and doctors to look for solutions to communicate rapidly with patients.
We invested in artificial intelligence, computer systems, databases and communication technology so Médica Sur’s services would be available 24/7 to address any issue. These investments were taken up by a number of hospitals, even from the EU and the US.
Q: How do communication and tech improve medical practices?
A: Technology is not always digestible for an industry that has a heterogeneous foundation. Even the doctor uses different channels to communicate curative, operational and preventive information.
Communication can be used to implement preventive measures and reduce health budgets. For example, vaccination campaigns against hepatitis or chicken pox among children are cost-effective and save lives. A similar preventive campaign could help fight the omicron variant, which is more contagious but has a smaller mortality rate than other COVID-19 variants. Prevention is enhanced significantly through strong communication. Many doctors are still using treatments that have been proven ineffective against COVID-19 because they are not keeping up to date with medical information, further complicating the patient’s healing process.
Q: As a hospital-university, how are you integrating tech in education?
A: University hospitals have an obligation to offer research and educational programs, besides providing medical care. At Médica Sur, we perform biomedical research and provide education. Médica Sur allied with UNAM 22 years ago to offer a series of post and pre-graduate programs for doctors. Every year, between 100 and 190 medical students can take a master’s or Ph.D. program with us.
This year, we published the “1,000 Research Cases by Medica Sur” book to celebrate 40 years since Médica Sur’s founding. During that time, we have graduated 3,500 doctors from our post-graduate program. We prioritize the patient’s well-being over business interests as we aspire to be the best hospital in Mexico.
Unfortunately, many doctors have passed away due to lack of resources and Médica Sur is working with UNAM to regulate this situation. The devotion and willingness to put their life on the line for their patients is what sets Mexican doctors apart.
Q: Mental health continues to gain attention as the stigma surrounding it fades. How is Médica Sur approaching mental health for patients and employees?
A: The pandemic had deep consequences for physical health and led to numerous deaths, which affected survivors and society. To many, the consequences were also very personal. COVID-19 can affect the brain directly, especially in cases of “long-COVID,” when symptoms continue for a year. Long-COVID causes continued brain cell death and leads to losses in memory and other cognitive problems. The country was not ready to handle the large number of COVID-19 cases and it did not have enough doctors to do so.
The pandemic also led to other psychological complications. We have not finished understanding what will happen with the pandemic, how long it will last or when and if it will become endemic. Its pulmonary and cardiovascular long-term effects are still undetermined, as are potential disabilities caused by COVID-19.
Q: What sets Medica Sur apart?
A: Our values set us apart. We know that good medicine comes from people who are compassionate and dedicated. We are less concerned with the aesthetics of our infrastructure as we are with being welcoming, professional, studied, scientific and committed to protecting the lives of patients.
We saw throughout the pandemic how preventive measures were more successful than responsive methods in limiting its impact, as was the case of New Zealand. We did not have a health system capable of handling the pandemic and we did not know how to let scientists take the lead. Everyone had an opinion and that was the wrong way to handle it. A better approach was taken by countries such as Japan and Israel, which took a disciplined approach and respected the authorities and scientists.
Médica Sur is a private hospital-university complex with 31 laboratories, a women’s clinic and two hospitals in Mexico City. It is a member of the Joint Commission International (JCI) and the Mayo Clinic Care Network and has a pharmacovigilance center.