Jaime Cervantes
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Public-Private Participation Needed to Boost Healthcare

Thu, 02/28/2019 - 11:34

Q: How do Vitalmex’s certifications make a difference for customers who hire the company’s services?
A: In the health sector, we often talk about the state of hospitals and the infrastructure, but not about the human factor. At Vitalmex, we invest significant resources into creating the best working conditions because we understand that a company’s workforce is its main asset in an industry focused on offering services.
We hope that treating employees well translates to better care for patients. We try to share this with the industry through robust integrity and compliance standards, hoping that these will eventually be the norm. The government has already started to shift the industry toward this mindset with its Plan de Bienestar (Plan for Well-being) by evaluating companies based on their values and how they treat employees, patients and all other partners.
Q: What benefits does your system provide to the healthcare industry?
A: Vitalmex combines its knowledge, equipment, personnel and other key elements to deliver not only health products but also an added-value service through our consultancy that helps customers solve their needs regarding inputs and clinical management. We understand that patients want to receive the best service, which demands accessibility and a fair price.
Today, however, healthcare prices are fragmented. In Mexico, it takes seven steps to bring a product to the market, without taking distribution into account. This represents between 15 and 40 percent of the price of any new product. Logistics, meanwhile, contribute another 45 percent to the final price. These costs lead to patients paying way more than the original cost of manufacturing the new medicine. Our country does not have the financial capacity to carry this burden, so we need to re-organize costs within the public sector.
The key benefits we provide are efficiency, removing unnecessary expenses related to intermediary processes and applying technology and innovation to counter the lack of good administration. Apart from cutting costs, information is also an important factor. Mexico does not have a strong national registry to adequately channel resources to patients. Without this information, we are going to continue making errors in health administration. There is also the problem of corruption and resources being wasted instead of being invested in patients.  
Q: You employ an articulated service model. What is the difference with the integral model and how can the industry apply this model universally?
A: An integral model is based on packages that group laboratories, analysis, surgery and other activities. In the articulated service model, as we call it, companies focus on services and providing patients the best care throughout their treatment. This means building the know-how to define what technology and logistics the patient needs at all times. Building this approach requires investment, however, to develop the right teams and facilities to make this happen.
Q: How is Vitalmex helping bridge the gap between the public and private sectors?
A: We formulated a five-year plan to help the government create a model that allows better coexistence between the public and private sector. We have understood that this country does not need more hospitals. The existing infrastructure is underused, which mainly comes from a lack of cooperation between the public and the private sector. Many private hospitals are practically empty. If the government and private industry come to an agreement, we can avoid building hospitals and making unnecessary investments. We can standardize patient care through contracts, and providers like Vitalmex can work efficiently between institutions to cut costs.