Photo: Centro Medico Puerta de Hierro
Not long ago, patients in need of specialized services in Tepic, the capital of the Mexican state of Nayarit, had to travel for over one hour by ambulance to get treatment in the nearest hospital in Guadalajara. Such long distance added significant health risks and financial costs for patients seeking both specialized and emergency care.
But since the opening of a new hospital in Tepic on September 2010 by Centro Médico Puerta de Hierro S.A. a private medical services provider, the reality has changed for the city of approximately 330,000 inhabitants.
The hospital is the first of two tertiary hospitals Puerta de Hierro has built with financing from both the Inter-American Development Bank and the International Financial Corporation, which together financed 44 percent of the total cost of the $54 million project. The second tertiary care hospital is being built in Colima, the capital of the state with the same name and Mexico’s second smallest state. This second hospital is expected to open by year end.
“We provided capital that was not readily available in the private market with tenors that were compatible to the needs of investors,’’ said Peter Stevenson, the IDB project team leader. “This has enabled Puerto de Hierro ramp up its operations and provide much needed care to the population of these two important secondary cities in Mexico.”
Each of the two hospitals are expected to treat more than 4,500 patients annually. They serve all categories of patients, whether privately and publicly insured, as well as the poor population thanks to an agreement between Puerta de Hierro and the country’s social security system.
The new facility in Tepic has 40 beds and provides specialized services not available from primary care doctors or secondary care consulting physicians, such as diagnosis, treatment and surgery for patients, including segments of the population insured by public agencies, suffering from cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
The hospital, a state-of-the-art facility, offers medical assistance in 22 disciplines and it has one of the best equipped hemodynamic centers in the country. The new hospital has also carried out the first intestine transplant in Mexico.
Besides improving access to high-quality care, the two hospitals are contributing to ease the burden on public hospitals and helping create employment opportunities in local communities. As many as 690 employees have been hired to work in the two new hospitals, which have also teaming up with local universities to allow them to carry out training and research in their facilities.