Ricardo Segovia
General Surgeon
CostaMed
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View from the Top

One-Stop for Medical Needs

Wed, 09/07/2016 - 12:08

Q: What is the history behind CostaMed?

A: Before establishing Cozumel’s Medical Center, I was a partner and medical member of Clínica Cozumel. Back in 1995, Chris Schumacher, who is now my most important business associate, approached me about new technology implementations. Although I was interested in acquiring new and unavailable technology for Cozumel’s market, there was little to no expansion room in the facility. Partners at Clínica Cozumel had already planned on creating a new center and machinery would be required. After a year, not only did we not go through with the project but the whole Clínica Cozumel team began dissolving.

Under those circumstances, I planned to open Cozumel’s Medical Center, but was lacking some of the initial capital. After further discussions with Schumacher, we became partners and established our operations in a 900m2 piece of land on January 3, 1998. Since then, we have had progressive and sustained growth, now covering 3,800m2 in Cozumel alone. Expansions to Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Mahahual followed.

Q: What market conditions led to its establishment in Cozumel?

A: My trajectory as Felipe Carrillo Puerto’s Social Security Director and later as Social Security Director of Cozumel’s port, allowed me to clearly assess the healthcare shortcomings of the island. The system’s evolution in recent years has been quite radical. For instance, treating patients with craniocerebral trauma was unthinkable in the past but it can now be done with our onsite neurosurgeon.

Q: How have CostaMed’s operations evolved throughout time?

A: We have gone from offering basic medical services to specialized tertiary care. CostaMed is equipped with the latest technology. We have one of the best intensive care units in the region. We have successfully performed five open-heart surgeries, the only hospital in Quintana Roo to achieve this. CostaMed is a pioneer in gastrointestinal and therapeutic endoscopy. Finally, our Cozumel facility is equipped with the largest hyperbaric chamber in the 

Caribbean, capable of simultaneously fitting nine people. Our personnel is extremely qualified, all certified by their respective medical counsels. CostaMed is the only hospital in Cozumel that has been certified and recertified by the General Health Council.

Q: What technology implementations has the hospital undergone?

A: The imaging diagnostics division is equipped with a fourth dimension ultrasound, a 1.5 Tesla MRI and a 16-slice CT that will soon transition to a 64-slice CT. Foreign patients demand multiple procedures from us. Plastic surgeries, gastroenterology procedures, cardiac catheterization and pacemaker placement, among others, top the list. Our capabilities in orthodontics have also increased the demand for such services. In fact, they are commonly promoted by cruise staff.

Q: Have you seen more foreign patients coming to Cozumel?

A: The cruise ship industry is Cozumel’s main economic motor, so our operational focus is mainly on this segment. Nonetheless, through this scope we can offer top- notch medical infrastructure to Cozumel’s 100,000 local inhabitants. In the past, people went to other cities to receive medical treatment. Now, they travel to Cozumel, which includes foreign patients as well. Between 60-70 percent of our admitted patients come from abroad. They now look for our services online and arrange their arrivals from all corners of the world.

Q: What alliances has CostaMed developed with governmental institutions to promote its services?

A: We developed a medical tourism initiative that showcases Cozumel as an important player in healthcare services in local and international congresses. CostaMed is also a member of Quintana Roo’s Medical Tourism Association as one of the region’s main hospitals. We have close contact with the state’s Ministries of Tourism and Health as well as the National Institute of Entrepreneurship (INADEM). Medical tourism has been a fundamental initiative for President Enrique Peña Nieto.