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Scripps collaborating with Mexican insurer on Tijuana hospital



Views of Tijuana.

San Diego-based Scripps Health is working to build a new hospital in Tijuana, Mexico, with SIMNSA, a Mexican health insurer, to  serve the binational region.

Scripps is as a consultant on the hospital’s planning, construction and operation, and the hospital will be branded as an affiliate of Scripps.

But day-to-day management, as well as the design and construction of the hospital, will be overseen by SIMNSA, formally called Sistemas Medicos Nacionales, S.A. de C.V., which already has a Tijuana medical campus with an eight-story outpatient tower.

Like its existing campus, the hospital’s targeted patient population will be Mexican residents who need to cross the border into the U.S. to work but who prefer to get their medical care in Mexico.

“We live in a binational region where thousands of people cross the border between San Diego and Tijuana daily for work. Access to high-quality healthcare on both sides of the border is important for our regional economy,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of Scripps Health. “We have been looking for opportunities to expand the Scripps Health Network and our agreement with SIMNSA is the perfect way to do so in Mexico.”

In an interview with Hospitals & Health Networks, Mr. Van Gorder says that Scripps has considered other international opportunities, but its leaders agreed to this one based on their positive view of SIMNSA’s plan to build an American-style hospital in Mexico, as well as the quality of the organization’s existing care. “I was extremely impressed with the quality in their facilities,” Mr. Van Gorder said.

“He adds that though the hospital will be American in style, the operation will remain sensitive to cultural differences that can set Mexican healthcare apart,” H&HN reported.

The relationship with SIMNSA could grow,  Mr. Van Gorder says. “Binational health care is something that’s here to stay.”

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