Pablo Cruz
Director General
Hospital de la Luz
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View from the Top

Sustainable Business and Care Model for Ocular Health

Wed, 02/06/2019 - 12:05

Q: How does Hospital de la Luz improve healthcare practices and access to ocular care?
A: Hospital de la Luz is the oldest visual health hospital in Mexico and Latin America and it has been improving access to ocular care in the country for many years. We have also trained many of the professionals in the sector. The hospital has developed new areas, such as the Integral Attention Center for Visual Disability (CADIVI) and its Biomedical Research Center, and has been certified by the Council of General Health for international standards.
Regarding access to ocular health, Hospital de la Luz has steadily improved its facilities and capacity to increase the number of patients it attends. For example, in 2012 the hospital performed 164,039 medical consultations, 63,438 hospital services and 1,056 rehabilitation services. In 2018, we conducted 199,141 medical consultations and provided 110,656 hospital services and 2,024 rehabilitation services. This is the result of two main factors: the hospital's new General Management area and the use of IT technologies that have enabled a greater number of people to gain access to our services.
Q: How is the hospital ensuring it is a financially sustainable organization?
A: Though in the past we received donations from different companies and foundations, getting funds has become difficult in recent years. It is in our interest to find new companies that want to contribute to bringing ocular health closer to the most vulnerable populations in Mexico. Hospital de la Luz recently purchased land to construct a hospital in Iztacalco, Mexico City, and is looking for companies to donate construction material and money to develop this new facility. However, the hospital does not depend entirely on donations to operate on a daily basis. As a private assistance institution, the hospital operates with a economy of scale scheme to cover the expenses of its daily surgeries, medical and administrative salaries and more. In addition, the hospital also receives an income from eight donated properties located in San Pedro de los Pinos, the city center and the Roma neighborhoods, among others.
Q: The hospital has two modalities of coverage: intramural and extramural. What is the target population of each and what services are offered?
A: About 87 percent of our target population is found in the Metropolitan Mexico City area. Given that Hospital de la Luz and its rehabilitation center are located in Mexico City, most of our patients from the city and the suburban areas are treated under the intramural modality. The extramural modality is applied for visual health campaigns conducted once a year for other states, including Chiapas, Oaxaca, Michoacan, Guerrero, Veracruz, State of Mexico and Puebla.
In terms of expanding our services through more hospitals, we do not believe that is the best strategy for the Hospital de la Luz. While we understand that there are people who need our services, we are also aware that it would require an increase in our capacity. Such action would also affect our residency program, complicating the interoperability residents enjoy between our facilities. An average resident sees 32 patients a day and attends classes from 9am to 2pm. Increasing the number of facilities without boosting the number of doctors and residents would complicate our efficiency. The hospital prefers to continue operating using the same modalities as it does now.
Q: What are your expectations for the new hospital in Iztacalco?
A: We conducted a variety of demographic and marketing studies to analyze and determine our next location. Iztacalco has a target population of 5.5 million people and high demand for the services we offer. We believe most of the people who visit our Tacabalera facility from Iztacalco, Nezahualcoyotl, Chalco and other close delegations will prefer to our new facility. The hospital hopes that this new location will give people from other parts of the city a closer and viable option to care for their visual health.