A Unified Voice For Better HealthcareBy Miriam Bello | Wed, 03/25/2020 - 13:32
Q: How do you expect to increase the capabilities of the medical devices sector?
A: There are many areas to potentialize. First, we need to accelerate well-trained human capital, so we will work on training doctors and nurses to make sure they are ready to receive this technology. Second, we need the right infrastructure in the right places. We are collaborating to attract investments to increase the number of CT scanners and other devices, which remains low. Third, the industry demands financing. This is a really important matter; we require adequate funds. Today, in the General Health Law, there is no distinction between pharmaceuticals and medical devices and thus the budget is not shared accordingly. We want to achieve proper financing to foster the consumption of medical devices. We are the 14th-largest economy but the 48th in medical devices consumption, which means there is gap there. Fourth, we want to integrate medical care. It is not useful to have a CT scanner or mammographer if these are not connected to proper detection, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and follow-up. All of these factors must be synchronized because technology alone does not make patients healthier.
We have finally reached a diverse perspective on AMID’s board. We had the presence of implants and consumables, large capital equipment and diagnostics. This allows us to understand the health market from the perspective of a variety of companies.
Q: You have the government’s trust on your side and the collaboration of the private sector. How will this improve healthcare in the country?
A: No one has ever built something alone. Having the support of the private and the public sectors is really important as our job is to integrate their visions so we can generate results for the public. We are in a very relevant moment as the unity felt in the industry is greater and the government’s openness has been growing as well, not to the level we would like but it has improved. Having other associations surrounding us can help us develop better ideas. I am committed to all the support we are receiving and we want to use it to deliver change in Mexico’s health.
Q: What strategies are you implementing so that more people can access these innovations?
A: There is a wrong perception that technology is expensive. This is precisely one of the changes in mindset we are looking for. For us, healthcare technology is something that has to be useful. Technology is a means, not a goal. We do not want to have a device in a hospital just because it looks shiny. We want it there so that patients can get better treatment. When you focus care as technology’s primary objective, you humanize the technology in a clearer way. We are going to work so technology is available to all patients in Mexico.
Q: How will AMID foster a prevention culture?
A: I do not believe we can change overnight the health system from treatment to prevention. Unfortunately, there are 12 million people with diabetes that need to be treated. We cannot prevent this. What we do not want is for that population to grow. For AMID, it is a matter of synchronicity between prevention and treatment. We will be working to achieve this balance.
Q: How are you working with other sectors to strengthen the medical devices market?
A: We have to collaborate to have a voice. We are part of the healthcare system and there are matters that have to be addressed as a single front. We are looking forward to collaborating with whomever we need to in order to communicate a unified message. For instance, access to technology is not a matter of medical devices but a problem we must all address. There are practical needs, of course, like differentiating our devices in terms of price. However, our voice should be the same because we share the same goal: improve Mexican’s health.
Q: What results are you expecting when your term in AMID ends?
A: That is for my fellow associates to decide. Expectations are high. I do want to move the needle toward specific metrics. I would like to see a growing use of technology and innovation, a stronger local market, greater government and customer trust and other signs that show our objectives are being accomplished. Today we have a plan that I expect in a few years can become a reality we can celebrate.
The Mexican Association of Innovative Medical Devices Industries (AMID) gathers global leaders innovating medical devices and diagnostic systems to work toward the advancement of health services in Mexico