Read the Conversation
EF: What do you think 2022 will be the year of?
AP: It will be the year of bringing patients back to healthcare. Many patients stayed away from hospitals and care centres during the pandemic because of the risk of getting infected and hospitals' limited capacity. The pandemic delayed the diagnosis of other health conditions, which put many patients' health at risk. In 2021, there was a 50% drop in clinical consultations for non-covid related illnesses and non-communicable conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases suffered severe losses. For some diseases, the casualty rate went up by 40%. The later a disease is diagnosed, the higher the risk is for getting severe complications. That is why it is essential for health to be a personal responsibility for everyone. We must get the focus back to the non-communicable conditions as they are an ongoing battle on their own.
It is paramount to educate the patient about health and personal care this year. As a sector, we should plan the infrastructure ahead of time and increase preventative measures for patients. To remain sustainable as an industry, we must learn to prepare for the future and invest in our health. As individuals, we must engage, learn, and take preventative measures.
EF: What are the trends in personal healthcare and how can health awareness be increased in Mexico?
AP: There is a positive mindset trend on healthcare and prevention after Covid. People are slowly going back to healthcare and getting their checkups. People are no longer afraid and hospitals have better capacity. There should be more collaboration between the public and private sectors to expand the healthcare infrastructure. Prevention is a joint effort and responsibility for the government, healthcare sector, and individuals. Therefore, people need to be taught and shown the benefits of preventing illnesses.
EF: What is the role of the healthcare infrastructure in restoring the economy of Mexico?
AP: The healthcare infrastructure in any country is fundamental to the country's economy. In most countries, the healthcare industry accounts for approximately nine per cent of the GDP. When the public and private sectors invest in healthcare, the industry needs to support them. Support can be shown through alliances and the promotion of new business models.
The healthier the population, the higher the labour productivity of the labour force. Investing in healthcare infrastructure is a necessity to increase patient access. Increasing investment in Mexico sustainably is a fundamental factor towards the infrastructure and economy.
EF: What do you think is the role of physicians within diagnostics in the future?
AP: Physicians are the backbone of healthcare and diagnostics. That is why they play a vital role in diagnostics. The more physicians integrate their practice with digitalization, the more critical their role becomes within diagnostics. Digitalization is evolving at such a fast pace that there is a debate about whether physicians will be essential in the future. Technology and new models of patient care support add value to the healthcare sector. Digitalization is just a tool and guide to help physicians. It allows physicians to become more patient-centric by simplifying routine tasks, leaving room for their expertise to shine through. Digitalization will create more personalized decisions and treatment for patients. Physicians will always be the decision-makers. The fundamental objective of using technology is to help restore humanity to patient care and reduce menial tasks.
Siemens Healthineers is bringing all the relevant and necessary technology to Mexico. This technology adds a lot of benefits to the Mexican population and patient care. We will keep enlarging our product portfolio and bringing new technology that benefits the healthcare sector and the patients here in Mexico.
EF: What are the new skill sets needed in the healthcare industry for Mexico to move forward?
AP: The people working within the healthcare sector need to understand the importance of digitalization and its role as time goes on. The characteristics required for people working in different industries are very similar to those in the healthcare industry. Digitalization will help solve the most challenging problems within healthcare and make the industry more sustainable. The technology yields higher outcomes, benefits, and solutions at a lower cost, which improves the primary healthcare objective: access.
As Siemens seniors, we continuously research using technology. Innovation is not an advantage by itself. The benefits that innovation and technology bring to the patient is the advantage.
EF: What do you want to celebrate after everything settles down?
AP: I am proud that Siemens contributed to addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. We contributed in various ways. We produced multiple PCR tests, some Covid related equipment, and machineries like X-rays and CT scanners. Our field service teams powered on through the pandemic and continued working at the frontline alongside physicians. Their main priority was to ensure all the machines worked perfectly throughout the pandemic. All these contributions are something we celebrate.