Filiberto Álvarez
Medical Director
Centro Médico Dalinde
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View from the Top

Strength in the Face of Adversity

Thu, 01/31/2019 - 18:21

Q: How has the Centro Médico Dalinde hospital evolved and what is your area of specialization?
A: Centro Médico Dalinde is a third-level specialty hospital. Our most important areas of specialization are traumatology and orthopedics, although we also have cardiovascular surgery and a very large area of geriatrics. In January 2014, the hospital celebrated the inauguration of its maternity and pediatrics wing, which greatly increased our capabilities. We developed several maternity packages for deliveries and C-sections that also include different payment plans. In 2013, we assisted around 50 births per month. This number rose to 230 before September 2017 but after the earthquake on Sept. 19 we had to reduce our number of maternity beds to strengthen other specialties. We now assist 110 births per month.
Q: What is the hospital’s investment strategy and what role does it play in increasing the facility’s competitiveness?
A: Centro Médico Dalinde invests significantly in imaging and every three to five years we update our equipment to the latest generation. The center recently invested in a new 3T magnetic resonance imaging scanner to replace our older equipment We also have positron-emission tomography (PET) equipment, which is used primarily to detect cancer. The earthquake on Sept. 19, 2017, damaged the infrastructure of our imaging wing and we are now reinforcing the buildings before introducing new equipment. Once reinforced, we will introduce more equipment, including digital mammography equipment.
Q: What is your client profile and how are you working to expand your patient base?
A: We have two major client groups: out-of-pocket patients and users with an insurance plan. Eighty-three percent of our patients belong to the latter group and the rest pay out of pocket. We also provide geriatrics services because we treat pensioners from different banks: Banamex, Bancomer, HSBC and Santander. At the moment, we cannot increase the number of patients we receive due to our limited infrastructure resulting from the earthquake damage but we are remodeling and expanding. The hospital is also building another unit with 35 beds, which we hope will be finished in two years.
Our first building turned 73 years old in 2019. Patients prefer us because we treat them humanely. We are among the top private hospitals for occupancy, commonly surpassing 80 percent. We have a total of 60 beds in two buildings and medical attention is divided in three functional areas: ambulatory procedures, emergencies and hospitalizations.
Q: What must government organizations do to increase access to healthcare?
A: The government needs to be more involved in the creation of academic programs at public universities that address the needs of the healthcare sector. It is also necessary to unify curriculums among all universities. About 20,000 doctors graduate every year from Mexico’s many medical schools. However, these schools only have room to train 8,000 medical specialists, leaving a large number of general practitioners without the possibility of specializing in any area. As a result, the 12,000 doctors who did not become specialists often have to find employment in other sectors.
Almost 85 percent of morbidities can be classified as “first level” of attention, another 12 percent as “second level” of attention and the remaining 3 percent as “third-level.” The first level of attention, provided most commonly by IMSS and ISSSTE clinics, does not receive the necessary consideration from the government and has failed to generate positions for doctors. The solution would be for the 12,000 graduates without a specialty to be fully trained as general medical practitioners so they can provide care to the 85 percent of patients in primary care.