SPECIALIZED MEDICAL SERVICES
IN COLOMBIA

COLOMBIA: REGIONAL LEADER IN THE EXPORT OF HEALTH SERVICES

The Colombian Health Sector is a worldwide reference for its achievements in 25 years of implementation of the General System of Social Security in Health created by Law 100 of 1993. Different advances can be highlighted, which perhaps are unknown in public slang or simply understood as Law, which several countries admire, for example: to achieve a broad coverage of the Health Benefits Plan with a low per capita premium (USD864 per year compared to the average premium of the OECD countries that is USD 3,453[1] ). Another example is the extension of Health coverage[2]: in 1993, only 23.5% of Colombians had health services and today, the 96.6% of population is covered under two regimes: subsidized (48%) and contributory (48%). It is clear that there is an arduous task to increase the number of taxpayers and to improve and maintain a more efficient system.

Within the framework of the previous achievements, one of the areas that has been increasing in the sector is the export of specialized health services, which consists of the provision of specialized medical services in Colombian clinics and hospitals to foreign citizens, where Colombia is stands out in the following segments:

  • 1st country in Latin America and 10th place globally in the ranking of the Medical Tourism Index: Medical Tourism Index – MTA
  • 2nd place worldwide with lower costs associated with medical tourism (India # 1): Medical Tourism Index – MTA
  • 24 of the 58 best Hospitals and Clinics in Latin America are Colombians and 4 located in the top 10: América Economía Magazine 2019
  • 5 clinics with accreditation of Joint Commission International
  • 3rd best health system globally: International Living Magazine

In 2019, according to Procolombia figures[3], USD 63 million were exported for health services in mode 4. If we compare the third quarter of 2018 versus 2019, health services exports showed a growth of 11%. As for the number of foreign patients treated, according to Migration Colombia[4] for the year 2019, 23,800 people entered the country for medical treatment. The countries of origin of these patients correspond to Aruba with 48.9%, USA with 18.8% and Curacao with 14.5%, these countries being the ones with the highest market share, followed by Panama, Uruguay and Ecuador, among others.

From the Sectorial Chamber of Health – ANDI, it has worked for more than 10 years in promoting the Export of Health Services. During these years, advances have been made in legislation, statistical figures, training and accreditation promotion to continue increasing the offer to foreign patients. The work of the project members is crucial: Centro Médico Imbanaco, Clínicas Colsanitas, Clínica Las Vegas, Clínica Rivas, Clínica Universidad de la Sabana, Coomeva Medicina Prepagada, Fundación Cardioinfantil, Pablo Tobón Uribe Hospital, Clínica Las Américas y San Vicente Centros Especializados. Similarly, entities such as Foscal y Clínica Abood Shaio, among others.

The objective of the program is to position Colombia as a destination for health treatments for people seeking specialized medicine, with the best international standards, quality in entities that have qualified doctors, human warmth in care, high medical technology and infrastructure for the international patient.

 

[1] Fuente: OCDE año 2013

[2] Fuente: www.sispro.gov.co

[3] Fuente: PROCOLOMBIA. Muestra trimestral de Comercio exterior de Servicios (MTCES), DANE (2018)

[4] Fuente: http://migracioncolombia.gov.co

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