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While most OECD member countries invest an average of 9 percent of Gross Domestic Product, Mexico has historically allocated 6 percent.
“This difference is a problem, since it significantly affects the out-of-pocket spending of Mexicans,” explains Héctor Valle Mesto, FUNSALUD executive president.
The out-of-pocket health expenditure of Mexicans is 41 percent, while in the rest of Latin America it is 28 percent.
COVID-19, an accelerator in issues of access to health
To reduce out-of-pocket expenses, comprehensive health systems must be created that lead the population towards preventive behaviors that minimize catastrophic expenses derived from the complication of a disease.
In 2020, serious diseases such as diabetes or cancer – which could be prevented with adequate care – were among the most expensive with an average price of 200 thousand pesos.
With the aim of helping more Mexicans to reduce these expenses through primary care, since February the Consorcio Mexicano de Hospitales has contributed to the amplification of the scope of the health services of the AXA Keralty alliance through the contribution of the infrastructure of its 45 hospitals located in 43 cities of the country.
Through this agreement with the insurer AXA, Mexicans will have access to different quality medical services such as unlimited consultations for general medicine, specialties and studies, depending on the chosen modality.
The product created by this alliance offers unlimited consultations for 2,799 pesos, in order to add clients in the private health insurance market.
First contact care has been neglected by the private sector, so it is time to create a link, explained Alejandro Pérez Galindo, CEO of Axa Keralty.
This service has provided medical care, from August 2019 to date, to more than 70 thousand patients in its Medical Attention Centers and carried out about 42 thousand video consultations.
Some of the cities that AXA Keralty users will access to this comprehensive private health system are Guadalajara, Hermosillo, Querétaro, Puebla, Mexicali and Ciudad Juárez.
In 2020, serious diseases such as diabetes or cancer were among the most expensive with an average price of 200 thousand pesos / Image: Depositphotos.com
Quick and effective health tools are needed now more than ever to deal with the pandemic . In this context, various service providers undertook certain actions, but in the face of the coronavirus maelstrom, they considered that an alliance would be more beneficial.
This is how ‘Home Clinic’ arose, an effort between public and private sector institutions to offer a platform that facilitates comprehensive medical care to patients with Covid-19 and their families.
With the arrival of the Easter holidays, infections could increase, so having verified information on hand and, above all, various service providers in one place is invaluable.
Online care directory, informative videos, specific oxygen services, home pharmacies and postcovid care, are just some of the items on the ‘Home Clinic’ page, which is already in service.
“We learned that what is missing is who to look for and how; these alternatives help what is most important: early care ”specified the executive president of FUNSALUD, Héctor Valle Mesto.
Telemedicine, on the rise
Telemedicine is already a reality, recalled Morgan Guerra, CEO of Previta, a company specializing in disease prevention.
An investigation carried out in the United States revealed that in March 2020 telemedicine grew more than 1,000 percent and by April it reached 4,000 percent. In Mexico the increase was similar, he says.
Hospital saturation pushed the global population to medical care through digital media. “You already know that it is safe,” Guerra said.
And the figures speak: Of the five thousand patients that Previta has treated in this pandemic, only 7 percent were referred to a hospital and only 1.2 percent died.
Plus, the cost of home care is only a fraction of what you would spend in a hospital, so having telemedicine is a benefit. “This modality will transcend Covid; after this, not only will traditional media exist ”.
Technology is making the world live an unusual approach in the field of health. “I never thought I would see this now,” says Marilú Acosta, telemedicine coordinator at the ABC Medical Center.
The pandemic took us out of the comfort zone
A situation like the current one can be fought with joint work, says Alejando Lara, medical director of Farmacias del Ahorro. “This is going to be a differentiator in the fight against this pandemic, since both the doctor and the patient left their comfort zone and used new tools.”
A robust information platform allows conscious decision making.
“Today, access to health in a more practical, cheap and risk-free way is very important. It is a way of protecting each other” explains José Antonio Crespo from Farmalisto, a digital home health platform.
In addition, it helps greater coverage, which is not possible now in the absence of health professionals. “In Mexico there are 180 thousand doctors, they are few, since it represents 2.1 doctors for every thousand inhabitants, when the ideal is 3.4 for every thousand, according to OECD standards,” says Crespo.
Hospital saturation pushed the global population to medical care through digital media / Image: Depositphotps.com
Prevention, the main objective of the platform
Remote monitoring of vital signs and symptoms not only helps prevent complications, but also makes it possible to accompany patients and their families in the diagnosis or suspicion of COVID-19 and the steps to follow to have adequate treatment.
Users will find a directory of remote healthcare platforms, as well as information on federal and state public services, linked to Covid-19 care.
- ABC Medical Center
- Axa Keralty
- Savings Pharmacies
- Viive / Med Silanés
The page offers information on specialized services such as pharmacies, ambulances, oxygen and home services for taking laboratory samples or face-to-face consultations.
Free and risk-free medical training
One more agreement, but that this case favors doctors, is the one between Fundación IMSS and Novartis México. The alliance aims to provide doctors with free access to a platform for digitizing medical offices and online medical guidance that favors their practice through Telemedicine.
Once registered, they will be able to be trained through interactive content, access to the most recent publications in various specialties, live broadcasts, personalized advice or together.
They also have the possibility to interact and communicate with their peers and, above all, they will have a secure digital space to give online medical guidance to their patients.
“The agreement is of great relevance, as it will allow specialist doctors to train for free in a virtual environment, that is, without putting people at risk given the health contingency” explains the director of the IMSS Foundation, Ana Lía de Fátima García .
The impact of this cutting-edge tool on the control of diseases and the well-being of patients, especially in chronic-degenerative diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, will be evaluated by the IMSS Foundation.
ConsultorioMOVIL.net will make it easier for doctors to forget about files on paper or in other impractical formats, since the digital clinical record may contain the patient’s symptoms and the photographs necessary to facilitate diagnosis and follow-up may be shared and saved.
In the same way, formats will be offered to contain the results of laboratory and image studies and their historical behavior will be displayed.
Doctors will be able to consult the Vademecum, as it is complete and preloaded.
These tools will allow the doctor to improve their practice and benefit from digital and personalized monitoring, points out Fernando Cruz, president of Novartis Mexico.
In addition, they have access to a free and encrypted platform so that communication with their patients does not have risks such as those presented when using public videoconferencing platforms or instant messaging services that are vulnerable.
Interested physicians can learn more details on the Fundación IMSS page www.fundacionimss.org.mx or in MedForum https://www.medforum.com.mx