Alhma Medical Center – a new family friendly hospital.
By Sheila Madsen, February 2021
The birth of this hospital started at conception. Or rather, not being able to conceive. Maria, one of the medical directors, began my tour with that statement. I was wearing a face mask but she did notice my raised eyebrows and body language. “Yes, she said, several years ago a friend of mine wanted to start a family and for various reason she couldn’t get pregnant. There are no fertility clinics in Mazatlan. There are no fertility clinics in Sinaloa. My friend chose Guadalajara for her treatments, and she successfully gave birth to twins – prematurely. There are no neonatal clinics in Sinaloa either. The twins were in incubators and are thriving today. I wanted to create a hospital that would be family friendly offering these specialties with state-of-the art technology: infertility treatment, a neonatal floor, general surgery plus an intensive care unit managed by one of the best doctors in Mexico.”
Maria’s vision became a reality with family investors, “we are a private family owned hospital.” Because she’s a doctor, and because she is from Mazatlan “her” hospital must have the most experienced doctors and nurses – she hand-picked them all. You could say she spent a great deal of time poaching the best and the brightest, many are bilingual. She was quick to tell me “the patient is our main concern. I’ve been reading some of the English Facebook forums about how some hospitals have hidden costs and foreigners may feel cheated, but here at Alhma Medical Center we are all transparent. When a patient is diagnosed we will show all the costs and explain line -by- line before any treatment begins. I did an internship in Canada, I’ve travelled to other hospitals and I know how important it is for Canadians and Americans to know all the costs up front; I can assure you Alhma is very affordable.”
I’ve never been on a hospital tour before but I knew it would be modern and have all the latest technology. Fortunately, all the equipment was ordered before the pandemic hit so the hospital has everything it needs to open soon. It’s the most modern and best equipped hospital in Sinaloa, that much I know. There are four floors and 24 rooms. The rooms are family-friendly too; spacious with seating areas for family visitors. Maria made sure of that and now with Covid-19 distancing yourself from the patient is crucial. Speaking of Covid-19, one floor of the hospital is dedicated to Covid patients – isolated from all the other patients. The hospital was being built in 2020 so they quickly adapted the floor plans to accommodate the pandemic.
As you’d except in a hospital there is an ER entrance, a trauma area, an ICU ward, four operating rooms [in comparison, the Marina Hospital has two], a blood bank plus the baby stuff – the fertility clinic, a maternity ward and the neonatal wing. Maria said “our hope is to do open heart surgery very soon and eventually we want to be a leader in transplant surgery.”
The exterior of the hospital is not that attractive, a big box design but inside, you feel you are in Scandinavia. It’s all white walls, beach-wood coloured doors, cream tile floors and the designer hung large warm black and white photographs of people of all ages and stages on the walls. The Scandi feeling is calming, professional, and for whatever reason you feel compassion. Although the hospital was empty the doctors I did meet were proud and happy to be associated with Alhma. If I spoke “doctor Spanish” I’m sure they would have detailed how all the equipment works, how the operating tables twirl this way and that and how every monitor and ventilator works. Never mind, as long as my doctor knows about these machines, I’ll trust him.
Welcome Alhma Medical Center – it’s wonderful patients and their doctors now have more options to choose from -we can never have enough professional, compassionate and transparent medical care.
[The Alma Medical Center is located on Ave. Carlos Canseco #3735 and will open in early spring. At that time, phone numbers will be added as well as a direct line to its ambulance and fertility clinic. You can visit their website – it’s in Spanish, English to follow.]