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“The main challenge is a multicultural team qualificated and motivated”

Interview with Javier Casquero Lara, Head of the International Department in the HM Hospitales

Why is it necessary to have the International Department in HM Hospitales?

Our purpose is to meet the real demand of the international community, that consists in the possibility to access the private Spanish healthcare system easily without language barrier and moreover, without having to think about anything apart from health.
In HM Hospitales we are proud to be pioneers in helping the international community of expatriates, students, tourists and diplomats in Madrid, in an easy and human-friendly way.

In HM Hospitales we are proud to be pioneers in helping the international community of expatriates, students, tourists and diplomats in Madrid, in an easy and human-friendly way.

All members of our department have travelled a lot and lived abroad, so we know how stressful it can be to make an appointment in a medical center or hospital and to understand all the administrative requirements, for example, regarding the use of your health insurance when medical assistance is needed during your stay in Spain.

When it comes to the Spanish healthcare system, a foreign patient must have the exact same rights and opportunities as a national holder of a private insurance.

International departments in most parts of the world are aimed to provide assistance to foreigners who need medical service when travelling abroad. Apart from this function, we also take care of the international community temporarily residing in Spain, because in their case it is necessary to count on health coverage for a long-term period.

What are the responsibilities of the Head of the International Department at HM Hospitales?

Our main challenge is to constantly upgrade qualifications of the multicultural team and provide motivation for every member. Without these basics, we wouldn’t be able to efficiently satisfy the demand for excellent medical services for our patients.

The second challenge is to be on the same page with the needs of medical groups, insurance companies and international patients, who help us to improve and control the quality of health services, so that we can be sure that all our medical staff and available equipment are prepared to meet their needs.

Lastly, it is crucial to detect new opportunities of internationalization of the Spanish healthcare system together with HM Hospitales and to develop new healthcare projects and educational programs on the international level.

Who are the main international clients of this large hospital group?

Mainly these are expats, who work for small companies and large international corporations, students and diplomatic staff working in embassies in Madrid. Also, international insurance companies, because without them many patients would not have had access to the medical services of HM Hospitales.

Is there any specific protocol developed in the HM Hospitales for the diplomatic workers?

A couple of years ago we decided to incorporate specific protocols, and we created a position of International Medical Director, who personally supervises the quality of the services provided, and also we introduced several other positions to be able to meet specific needs of such clients.

How is the personalized service provided to the diplomatic workers?

First of all, we try to educate and raise awareness among our professionals about the importance of this type of client, who needs personalized assistance because of the language barriers or a busy working agenda. For example, when scheduling a visit, an exam or a surgery we try to adapt as much as possible to their tight working calendar.

What other areas of work does the Interntional Department of HM Hospitales have in plans for the future?

Obviously, we are focused on the internationalization of the Spanish Health system together with other private medical groups, and also of our medical and healthcare services. We establish alliances for international cooperation not only in the healthcare sector, but also in education and investigation. Science and medicine don’t have any limits, so continuing education is crucial. We try to foster exchange of knowledge about exclusive techniques in Spain and abroad, in such delicate fields as oncology, neuroscience, cardiology, among many others.

Clients from over 50 countries have already visited doctors of many medical specialties here. What is the distinctive trait in medical diplomacy in HM Hospitales, a hospital where multiculturalism rules?

I would highlight our multicultural team, with a lot of experience in healthcare on the international level, because this factor helps us to better understand our clients and, moreover, to adapt to their needs.

Is HM Hospitales considered to be an Ambassador of Spain in healthcare?

We wouldn’t dare to say that, for being quite a loud statement. However, we can say that the best ambassadors of the Spanish healthcare and of HM Hospitales, as a Spanish international private healthcare group, are our own patients and medical groups. Their experience is what counts: we can invest a lot in marketing, publicity and expansion plans, but without positive reviews of our clients and patients it would be a waste of time.

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