Mexico Health Review spoke with GUILLAUME CORPART, Managing Director of Global Health Intelligence about the trends that are transforming the health sector.
Q: What trends are transforming the healthcare industry in Mexico?
A: This is a year of changes and the industry has to prepare for them. All our clients are wary of the changes in the sector. Companies working mainly with the public healthcare sector have been hit by recent tenders, which opened the doors to countries with which Mexico has no FTAs. These countries manage lower prices, which forces local manufacturers to lower their own prices, reducing their margins. The public healthcare sector has also halved its budget. This is a blow to local manufacturers of pharmaceutical and medical supplies, which are now looking for ways to optimize their production to reduce manufacturing costs.
Companies that sell mainly to the private sector will not be as affected. For that reason, many manufacturers will try to increase their focus on the private sector, specifically in small and medium-sized hospitals.
Q: How is Global Health Intelligence helping companies adapt to the changes in the market?
A: Many companies will have to change how they measure themselves against competitors to increase their market participation. This will be increasingly important now that public tenders have been opened to other countries. To support our clients, we are developing a series of products tailored to different companies based on their size and market participation. During 2019, we have refined our ShareScope tool, which allows companies to measure and track their position in the market.
Q: What market insights has the company identified through its platform HospiScope?
A: The number of beds is an important indicator of the size of a hospital in terms of patients and of its capabilities to invest in technology. A hospital with less than 20 beds does not have the ability nor the financial capability to acquire sophisticated diagnostics equipment, which usually amounts to over US$500,000. Developed economies like the US and Europe have an average hospital size of 160 beds. In Latin America, the average is 45 beds and Mexican hospitals have an average of 50 beds. Public Mexican hospitals are much larger, with an average of 120 beds, while private hospitals are much smaller with only around 17 beds per hospital. Having so many small hospitals affects the country’s overall potential for investment in healthcare and technology.
We are seeing a growing number of smaller hospitals that focus on a select number of medical procedures and often focus on ambulatory surgery. These were created to address the needs of the middle class, as many individuals are willing to pay to gain access to private healthcare but they cannot afford larger hospitals such as Hospital Ángeles or Hospital ABC.
Q: What benefits does the trend toward ambulatory services bring to patients and the healthcare system?
A: About 60 percent of healthcare services are provided by the public sector so budget cuts will have a deep impact. Moreover, demand continues to grow alongside the population. These trends will impact the sector on two fronts: quality and wait times. Mexicans have a significant problem accessing quality healthcare services at the moment they need it. For instance, people with a cardiovascular disease cannot wait six months to address their problem.
Under these circumstances, ambulatory surgery plays an important role as it streamlines surgical services, allowing hospitals to treat more patients and to provide quality services. Leaving a patient to recover in the hospital is a bad use of resources because the bed, doctors and nurses cannot focus on another patient. Letting patients recover at home and helping them leave the hospital as soon as possible allows for a more efficient use of resources. Without ambulatory surgery, the healthcare system would be unable to provide care to the growing population. At this point, both the public and private sectors must implement cost-saving and efficient strategies. While Mexico is ahead of the region in the development of ambulatory clinics, the country needs to develop regulations that encourage the use of electronic clinical files to share information.
Global Health Intelligence conducts market research to provide strategic data on health infrastructure in emerging Latin American and Asian markets. The company offers four main services: HospiScope, ShareScope, In-Scope and SurgiScope