From Here to Lima

This is the title of an article of mine that was published in the newspaper El Mundo this Sunday as part of a special feature dedicated to the 16th anniversary of the foundation of Ribera Salud and the public-private model of healthcare. I like it because it summarised the philosophy of an innovative and pioneering experience very well, which first saw the light of day in the Valencian Community, Alzira; Now, 16 years later, it has been recognised internationally as a success. The recent inauguration of “Alzira Model” hospitals in Peru now adds to the four hospitals that are functioning in Portugal.

As I write these lines, an event is being held in Washington by the prestigious publication Health Affairs in which Mark B. McCellan, the director of Healthcare Innovation from the Brookings Institution, is presenting a case study of the Ribera Salud model as an example of Accountable Care Organisations (ACOs), as a direct result of the WISH summit in Qatar, held last December. From Alzira to Lima, yes, but many other places too.

Here is the complete article.

From Here to Lima by Alberto de Rosa, CEO Ribera Salud Group

It has been a long road with important challenges encountered over these last sixteen years. The first was earning the confidence of a province, La Ribera which for more than 50 years the population had to travel 50 kilometres to receive hospital care. Then we gained the respect of professionals in the scientific community who doubted the validity of this model for Resident Medical Interns MIR (Médico Interno Residente), agreements with Universities, the Teaching Profession and research. Throughout these 16 years we have not spared any effort to explain in whatever forum, business school, multilateral organisations, etc., in addition to numerous national and international delegations that have expressed an interest in the Model, that it is possible to combine the values of a public health service with the flexibility of private management to ensure the sustainability over time of our NHS which is the jewel in the crown of our welfare model.

In 1999 no one could have imagined that this model, pioneered in the Valencian Community, would have such a future both in our region and beyond, even beyond our national frontiers. In addition to the four hospitals in Portugal which function using this concessional model we should add, since May 2014, the first two hospitals in Latin America to apply the Alzira Model. The model that was born here, and developed with the aid of the healthcare professionals and the confidence of the patients, is contributing to the improvement of healthcare, collaborating in the development of the same, social welfare and the future of a sister country such as Peru with new hospitals in Villa Maria del Triunfo and Callao. It is a source of great pride to have taken this route, hand in hand with so many great professionals, in an attempt to improve the services provided to so many people in so many places, whilst at the same time maintaining our dedication to public service that we are all so proud of and in which we all participate: from Here (Alzira) to Lima.

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