The insurer Axa began with a new business model in which it will offer medical services directly to people, instead of paying a third party through a policy. In an alliance with the Colombian group Keralty, the French firm opened three clinics in Mexico City this month with an investment of four million dollars to provide medical care from general consultation to specialties and analysis.
"This alliance means that we will directly provide health services. What we normally do as an insurer is to sell financial protection so that, in the event of a catastrophic illness, we help pay the bills, and with this what we do is provide direct service, with doctors who are part of our payroll, is something that we had never done before," said Alejandro Perez Galindo, CEO of the new firm Axa Keralty.
In an interview with El Sol de Mexico, the executive said that with this scheme they expect to reach a million additional customers to those that the insurer has in its insurance scheme for major medical expenses, which are 1.2 million. To this end, the company will invest 120 million dollars in the construction of 50 health care centers nationwide by 2024.
Despite the economic slowdown observed in the country, Axa Keralty is confident that there is potential for growth in Mexico. Perez Galindo even says that if they see positive advances within the next five years, they would commit to increasing their investment. "Mexico has important potential. I think it is normal that with a change of administration the cars are misaligned, but you have to align them and have confidence. In the industry we have much to do in the country," said the executive on the situation that the country is going through.
One of the reasons why there is a high potential in Mexican territory for the business of medical care is the most constant health problems among the population, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, among others. "We do not have good health indexes. We are one of the countries with the highest rate of obesity and the number one in childhood obesity. In addition, 16 percent of the population lives with diabetes and between 10 and 12 percent suffer from hypertension. There is a very important need for health," he said.
Also, Pérez Galindo recalled that only eight percent of Mexicans have insurance for major medical expenses, which is a product for a high socioeconomic segment and is difficult for the middle class to access. "We believe there is enormous potential to serve more Mexicans with more affordable products," said the company's director. He explained that the Axa Keralty clinics will have general practitioners and specialties such as pediatrics, gynecology, family medicine, as well as the possibility of conducting chemical studies and X-rays, among others.
The idea of the new company, he said, is to cover between 80 and 85 percent of health problems that occur among the population, since the clinics are open to the general public. "Anyone can go for a consultation, which costs 400 pesos, or pay a package of two thousand 550 pesos per year Essential Medicine that includes limited consultations in general medicine, pediatrics, and gynecology, or the Intermediate Plan of four thousand 200 pesos, which includes the rest of specialties," said the director of Axa Keralty.
Perez Galindo added that in the coming months will launch new packages, including some designed for companies that want to ensure their employees. This year, the firm will open five clinics in Mexico City, with an investment of more than five million dollars and which will have the capacity to treat between 50,000 and 80,000 patients. Next year will begin its expansion into other cities, starting perhaps in Monterrey, to achieve coverage of 200,000 people in its first two years, concluded Perez Galindo.