dr-mario-baeza-mezquitaTwenty-nine years ago, an idea was developed by six people who had a vision. One of them, Dr. Luis Mario Baeza Mézquita, says, “We wanted to create a new hospital in Mérida that would offer the community of Yucatán and surrounding area a new option for private medical treatment. We wanted to provide an alternative so that people would not have to leave Yucatán for medical care”.

They looked for investors and purchased the Hotel Cortijo which was on Calle 54 near Av. Pérez Ponce. Three years later it was transformed into what is now Centro Médico de las Américas.

“Actually, hotels and hospitals have some things in common,” explains Dr. Baeza, who is the General Director of the hospital. “But there were also some things we did not need!” he says with a laugh. “The pool became the cistern. And the bar? It became our first laboratory!” The hospital opened in 1984 with 50 physicians and one building; now there are 130 physicians and three buildings. Dr. Baeza is not only the General Director of the hospital, but is also one of the original 50 physicians. He specializes in orthopaedia and trauma.

Very little of the original hotel remains today. As the years went by, adjacent buildings were bought and changes were made. The original hospital only had an XRay and clinical laboratory; today CMA has tomography, MRI, ultrasound, endoscopy, nuclear medicine and more. It has a coronary unit, neonatal unit, and blood bank. Every medical specialty is offered.

In 1984 Dr. Baeza was a young doctor who wanted to do something to improve medical care in Yucatán. He had seven years in his private practice; he never imagined himself to be the director of a hospital! He had to study new skills for this new position; and has been the director twice, for a total of 19 years.

“One of my goals was to be sure our patients would feel safe and comfortable here,” he says. “We have a team of people who visit our patients every day during their stay, to offer them anything they need from a newspaper to a phone call overseas to a reservation for a plane ticket for a family member to come. We want to make them feel that they don’t have to worry about any details. When their stay with us comes to an end, we provide them with a questionnaire, asking them to rate us on service, cleanliness, food, and quality of care. If the patient has any complaint whatsoever, we try to resolve it before they exit the hospital. And we have a monthly meeting to discuss areas we need to improve.”

The hospital is affiliated with two hospitals in Miami, and also belongs to a Mexican consortium of hospitals. Future expansion plans include a medical tower, a bridge to connect existing buildings, and a heliport.

“I see myself continuing to work at what I love. Our vision is still the same as it was when we opened in 1984. We are leaders in technology but we place special emphasis on treating the human being, not just the illness.”

Calle 54 #365 x 34-A y Av. Pérez Ponce
Tel. 926 2111 Emergencies 24 hrs. 927 3199

Recommended reading:
Medical Tourism
Healthcare in Mérida, Yucatán
Medical Tourism: Star Médica is prepared
Medical Insurance to age 69

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