Join Siemens Healthineers and work on impactful projects

Join Siemens Healthineers and work on impactful projects

 April 17, 2024

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Siemens Healthineers is committed to pioneering breakthroughs in healthcare, for everyone, everywhere, and believes everyone should have access to high-quality and individualized care.

The company took on the challenge of bringing a care unit to Colombia to better serve the population.

Over half of the world’s population lacks access to vital health services. Smart Clinic Colombia fills a gap in rural regions of northern Colombia, improving access to healthcare through a mobile unit.

Smart Clinic gets Colombia's healthcare system moving

Faced with an ailing healthcare system in Venezuela, Ana Milena Rojas made the long journey over the border to Colombia to find medical help for her unborn child. On the barren Guajira Peninsula, far from Colombia’s densely populated cities, she found help in a mobile Smart Clinic.

With 51.5 million inhabitants, Colombia is the most populous country in South America after Brazil, according to data from the World Bank (2023). Over 80% of the population already live in cities, and those who don’t are increasingly migrating there, since people in coastal and rural regions are disadvantaged in many respects, especially when it comes to access to healthcare.

A mobile clinic is seeking to address this problem in the poor rural regions of the north. It is a 12-meter-long bus converted into a Smart Clinic, and is equipped to bring basic healthcare services to people who cannot reach doctors and clinics in the cities.

Siemens Healthineers healthcare unit

Many migrants from Venezuela use the service

The Smart Clinic has become an important point of contact, especially for women affected by poverty. Although it was used as a mobile unit during the COVID-19 pandemic, its approximately 30 employees now focus entirely on providing health advice and care for both pregnant women and families. Migrants from Venezuela, who have increasingly come to Colombia since the border crossings were opened, can also benefit from access to medical check-ups and laboratory services with no red tape.

Venezuela has experienced an economic crisis involving hyperinflation for years. By August 2023, some 7.7 million people had fled the country, around a quarter of the total population, according to Amnesty International, accessed March 7, 2024. Of those, around 2.9 million live in Colombia, according to MIGRACIÓN COLOMBIA. Rojas is one of them. This young woman developed complications during pregnancy and, since she had no access to medical care in her home country, she made the arduous journey to Colombia.

“We know that in Latin America we are already on the verge of 700 million inhabitants, and we believe that a large part of this population doesn't have access to quality healthcare,” comments Siemens Healthineers Colombia, Managing Director, Francisco Vélez.

Siemens Healthineers knows the importance of institutional cooperation. Francisco says: "We took on the challenge of bringing a care unit to Colombia to better serve the population."

Providing gynecological care and personal support

Providing pregnant and breastfeeding women with primary and specialized care, via lightweight portable diagnostic devices for ultrasound examinations, for example, is at the heart of the Smart Clinic. However, Rojas found more than gynecological care at the practice. She also received the psychological support that was crucial for her and her child.

In collaboration with the Colombian Red Cross (Cruz Roja), Siemens and Siemens Healthineers have equipped the bus with medical imaging systems, laboratory equipment, and other devices. A team of doctors and nurses is now traveling around the country to provide care for mothers and children in places with great need. Sometimes, large families with several children come to the clinic. The team can then offer nonstandard assistance, preventive services, and advice for everyone.

This collaborative arrangement makes it possible to provide humanitarian services to those who need them the most. The Colombian Red Cross is also stepping up its efforts to offer support to communities affected by violence, provide assistance to families, and promote protection for migrants.

Join an employer improving access to healthcare across the world

Siemens Healthineers knows access to essential healthcare is a human right and is at the foundation of growing a healthy, economically viable society with lasting social structures.

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