Hospitals, Health & Insurance. 11
Editor's Note: The following article -- originally authored in Spanish by Colombia Ministry of Health economist Jhon Gonzalez Lindarte -- is reprinted by special permission granted to Medellin Herald by El Pulso, the monthly newsletter published by Medellin-based San Vicente Fundacion.
Medellin’s hospital, clinic and dental sector enjoys an expanding reputation for high quality and relatively low prices -- which explains why an increasing number of resident expats and medical tourists come here for all sorts of surgical procedures.
On the heels of finalizing a US$50 million strategic investment deal with U.S.-based Christus Health last month, Colombian health insurer and clinic operator Coomeva is moving to rationalize its service network and shore-up its financially troubled “Coomeva EPS” subsidiary.
At a June 17 press conference at the World Economic Forum in Medellin, Coca-Cola FEMSA (Latin America) CEO John Santa Maria joined with PepsiCo Latin America CEO Laxman Narasimhan and Postobon (Colombia) president Miguel Escobar in unveiling a nationwide “Healthy Future” campaign aiming to educate consumers on diet and exercise regimes to avoid obesity.
New York’s world-famous Mount Sinai Hospital announced February 18 that it has finalized a “clinical alliance” deal with Medellin-based San Vicente Fundacion (SVF), aiming to “transform access to health care for communities within Latin America.”
Thanks to big investments recently in hospital/clinic infrastructure, high technology, multinational training, prestigious certifications and new international alliances, metro Medellin is broadening its reputation as a destination for “international medicine” -- as opposed to just “medical tourism,” the latter often perceived as relatively simple plastic surgery or dental work.
While the number of foreigners coming to metro Medellin for relatively low-cost, high-quality medical and dental procedures continues to grow, windows of opportunity have only just started to open.
While medical tourism is a growing business for metro Medellin thanks to a reputation for high quality and competitive prices, the national public health system is mired in a financial crisis (see Medicine in Medellin: The National Health Care System, Part Two).
Medical tourism is a growing business for metro Medellin thanks to an international reputation for high quality, high technology, friendly service and competitive prices.