Mikel Arriola presented this week ten measures to improve the healthcare services provided by IMSS. Long perceived as a slow and inefficient institution, these measures are aimed at optimizing processes within hospitals and clinics, but most importantly accelerating medical attention so that patients do not have to wait a long time for physicians to evaluate them. This is particularly important in emergency rooms, where not all cases are always treated in a timely manner.
According to the WHO, countries should have between 2.5 and four beds per 1,000 inhabitants. For its 70 million affiliates, IMSS has a total of 32,941 beds accounting for 0.6 beds per 1,000 inhabitants. In 2014, it had 1,785 third level hospitals, 246 second level centers, and 1,503 first level family centers.
The ten measures to be implemented are as follows:
- Hospital admissions and bed assignments will be improved through a significant reduction in waiting times and proper management of assignments and discharges.
- Patients visiting their family doctor will immediately obtain a pass for specialty consultations in case they require so.
- Operating rooms will be used efficiently on the weekend – an initiative already supported by the Social Security Workers Unions and surgeons, and which will increase availability of this service by 40%.
- 40 new clinics will be built under Arriola’s administration between 2016 and 2018 and four general hospitals will be concluded.
- The number of kidney and corneal transplants will be increased by 10%, and cadaveric donations will grow 14% through altruism promotion and training of physicians abroad.
- Digital services will further expand throughout the country, which will reduce unnecessary visits to hospitals
- Some new 25,000 places will be open at child daycare centers, which is 150% more than the year before.
- Parents whose children stay in daycare centers will not have to lose one day at work to obtain the medical evaluation document; they can present the medical justification letter from a particular pediatrician. This will save 1.2 million visits to the Family Medical Center.
- Elimination of pensioner survival checks
- Redesign of IMSS website
This comes in a time where administrative processes account for a significant part of the budget in this institution. Optimizing such processes will certainly help to allocate more resources in healthcare services and improve services for patients.