“Faro del Mayab”: A lantern lighting the way to a new era in Health Tourism
The Yucatan Times conducted an exclusive interview with Lic. Juan Ramírez who spoke about one of the most technologically advanced hospitals in all of Mexico, “Hospital Faro del Mayab,” a medical facility that will offer cutting-edge service and the ultimate facultative environment, and that aims to become the undisputed best medical center in Southeast Mexico.
TYT: How did the idea for Faro del Mayab was conceived in the first place?
J.R.: The idea for Faro del Mayab came up from a personal experience that we lived as a Yucatecan family who resided many years away from the state, then came back, and found itself in the middle of a health situation.
My son and my daughter had the need to go to a hospital here in Merida, and that was when we saw that the city could use better health care institutions, from a patient’s point of view.
Without neglecting other hospitals or clinics in Merida, we detected the need of a much better medical service, and decided to take advantage of the opportunity of providing the Meridian society with a different alternative, a medical facility able to deliver a service of excellence in this field.
We realized that Merida needed a high-end specialized hospital according to the exponential growth that is taking place in the state of Yucatan and especially in this city.
And so, two years ago, a group of specialists in market research was hired to conduct a market research and a feasibility study. The results were concrete in the following subjects:
1. A differentiated higher level (3rd level) hospital is necessary for the people of Merida, with more than 20 specialties onsite. (A third level medical facility provides outpatient hospital services and features an ambulatory (outpatient) surgical center. It boasts more than 20 different medical specialities, and is open to the public 24-7, 365 days a year).
2. Pediatric specialized area.
3. Attention to women.
4.- The study also showed that a hospital with a larger number of medical specialities was needed to serve a specific market segment, the foreign people who live here and come to town for medical reasons (Health Tourism).
As part of the study, an investigation was conducted to determine the number of foreigners currently residing in the area, as well as a projection on how many are planning to come to live in Merida and other towns in Yucatan, and it was surprising to learn that there are more than 8,000 foreigners living permanently in the state of Yucatan right now, and the number is growing each month.
And approximately 10,000 others travel to Yucatan from their native countries to spend 3, 4, 5 or 6 months per year, every year (second home tourism).
Another important issue that was discovered with the study was the fact that this growing foreign community requires high level health services, that could match the quality of service they might receive at medical institutions in the United States or Canada.
The study also determined that if a new hospital was to be open, it should be done in partnership or affiliated with a network able to certify it as a state-of-the-art, high-tech, internationally certified medical facility.
That is why we took the decision to make a strategic alliance with “Red Médica Sur en Apoyo a la salud” .
The “Faro del Mayab” project was conceived with a particular emphasis on the need for a facility capable to attend to the medical tourism demand in Yucatan.
So we thought: “We are on the right track.”
TYT: Is there any other 3rd level hospital in Mérida ?
J.R.: I really do not know, I do not want to give incorrect information. I think there is none, but there could be other hospitals featuring other kind of certification. However, no hospital in Merida is certified by the Joint Commission.
TYT: Can you tell us a little more about the Joint Commission and the advantage of having this certification?
J.R.: Certainly, the Joint Commission International (JCI) works to improve patient safety and quality of health care in the international community by offering education, publications, advisory services, and international accreditation and certification. In more than 100 countries, JCI partners with hospitals, clinics, and academic medical centers; health systems and agencies; government ministries; academia; and international advocates to promote rigorous standards of care and to provide solutions for achieving peak performance.
Speaking of the Joint Commission, one of the great advantages of having this certification is that at a given moment, Faro del Mayab will be able to accept Medical Insurance cases from the US, Canada and other countries.
This would be extremely helpful for foreigners, since they would not have to pay in cash, or use their credit cards in a medical emergency while on vacation (as has happened in many cases before).
In such case, at being certified by the Joint Commission, Hospital Faro del Mayab would be dealing directly with the insurance companies in the US, Canada or any country.
Another of the great advantages of having the certification of the Joint Commission, is the fact that it complies with all international regulations and requirements in terms of accommodations, equipment, areas, quality asurance, service, staff, protocols, etc.
One of the things we’re asking is that doctors are specialists, are certified in their respective medical specialty and updated according to new regulations. Since the Joint Commission not only asks for hospital infrastructure requirements, but also calls for the phisicians’ certification.
That’s why it is vital for Faro del Mayab to be recognized and trusted by the foreign community as a world-class health institution, certified by the Joint Commission in terms of infrastructure and medical staff, and 100% trained and certified according to international standards.
For example, the Joint Commission orders the Emergency Medical area to be divided into two areas, one for children and one for adults. No hospital in Merida has it this way, and even in all Mexico just a few have this division.
Within infrastructure, for example, doors, hallways, roofs, elevators, waiting areas, of course hospital rooms, operating rooms, beds, etc., all these different spaces must meet certain criteria established by the Joint Commission.
In the case of operating rooms, there is an entry area with 3 different levels to meet the highest standards of hygiene and safety before an operation.
The air conditioning equipment used in operating rooms, unlike conventional A/C equipment, does not recycle air, but pulls it from the outside and then expels it out of the operating room in order to constantly keep the air as pure as possible.
TYT: What other factors differentiate this medical center from others in Mérida?
Another of the great features that will make Faro Mayab different from any other hospital in Merida is that it will be a 100% sustainable Hospital. Starting with the construction materials which are environmentally friendly.
But besides from the architectural structure and the management of resources and waste, the whole project will be focused to ensure a minimum negative environmental impact.
The hospital Faro del Mayab, is also designed to be friendly to patients and visitors.
Many of us do not like to go to a hospital, mostly because we associate it with a previous negative experience, illness or loss of a loved one. That’s why this hospital will have a design that will feature a main entrance totally separated from the emergency room access.
It will feature a pleasant, big lobby, where the patients’ relatives can wait comfortably.
It is scientifically proven that patients recover better and faster in the presence of natural light. Therefore, this hospital will have special double glazed windows (ie, two glasses separated by an argon gas chamber).
The benefit of these glasses is to help control the different degrees of sun protection during the summer and during the winter.
This type of windows lets a lot of natural light through, which helps rapid patient recovery as mentioned above, but also are built with the strength to withstand the force of a Category 5 hurricane without anti-hurricane curtains.
The outpatient area at Hospital Faro del Mayab will have 88 offices (22 per level), each with an area of medical consultation and examination, rest room, reception and waiting room shared by every 2 offices .
Each level has a spacious lobby with a common room, waiting public health and elevators, plus toilet and storage services.
These halls were designed with high ceilings to generate a feeling of liberty and allow for better articulation of its spaces.
TYT: What else would you like to say to the local Expat community and people traveling to Mérida for medical purposes?
At Hospital Faro del Mayab our slogan reads: “Medical Excellence and Human Quality“, and that is exactly what we will offer the foreign community, an excellent medical service, delivered with warmth and always keeping in mind that our patients are human beings that require personal attention, not just social security or insurance policy numbers.
To the foreign community that reads The Yucatan Times, we would like to say that this project was conceived and is being carried out with you in mind.
For further information on Hospital Faro del Mayab click here
Interview by Alejandro Azcárate for The Yucatan Times