Fernando Oliveros
Vice President
Medtronic
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View from the Top

Opening the Road to a New Healthcare System

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 14:17

Q: Medtronic has said the government needs to place more importance on the healthcare sector. What progress has been made?

A: Over the last two years, we have reached out to the authorities, private companies, regulators, patients and insurance companies to create an alliance to communicate a common message: there is a need for a health reform in Mexico that should focus on two areas. The first is to separate financing from service provisioning and establish a payment system that provides finance for any medical service. The second change should be to open access to the healthcare system, meaning that they should be able to choose where to be treated.

Q: What strategy could lead the system to a better use of healthcare resources?

A: We are one of the leading companies open to the creation of a new health financing system in which the risks are shared between providers and clients. As providers, we are looking to work with the client to share risk by establishing strategies such as performance-based payments. Under such schemes, the customer will only pay if the product achieves the desired performance or results.

Q: What has been the government’s response to these alternative strategies?

A: It has been very good, but it is a challenge to make it a reality because private companies are changing from being providers to becoming partners. We are finding many barriers. The regulatory bodies are very price-based and they are close-minded to ideas like payment for performance. Inertia has ruled the system for a long time and it is very hard to change that. Lack of transparency is also a major problem that prevents us from moving forward.

Q: What is Medtronic’s value proposition to ensure the productivity and effectiveness that health institutions require?

A: In terms of portfolio, Medtronic is the largest medical devices company in the world. We provide integral solutions for Mexico’s main health concerns. We are the unique provider in Mexico of insulin bombs for T1D patients. There are approximately 200,000 people with this condition and only 1,300 insulin pumps users. Medtronic is also open to sharing its global experience to quantify and identify uncover needs inside the institutions. We are working to develop information that will provide real data on the costs of diseases because providers cannot offer solutions without having total knowledge about the cost of a problem. Finally, we can offer expertise in production and manufacturing processes to institutions like IMSS or ISSSTE thanks to our five manufacturing plants and the 13,000 employees we have in Mexico.

Q: Does the system have access to the technology it needs to improve?

A: Patients in Mexico do have access to great technology. There are patients who can get an artificial pancreas at a clinic with integral services, but the majority of the population has no access or very limited access to basic health services. The responsibility for companies like Medtronic is also to make technology available for everyone. Lagging behind on technology implies a higher cost for the system and for patients. As an example, we have remote monitoring of heart rates that could allow 80 percent of patients to stay at home instead of going to a hospital. However, the level of knowledge of doctors and patients to use the equipment and the service model are not connected.

Q: What actions is Medtronic taking to open access to healthcare?

A: For us, access has four definitions: education and training of human resources, doctors and nurses; available and useful infrastructure; promote financing and establish efficient service models. In education, we are working on projects to better introduce technology to doctors, especially in cardiovascular health, diabetes and obesity.