Hospice Care by Mitigare Organizing Palliative Care Conference at La Casona
By Muriel Bevilacqua Logan and Lee Carter
Hospice Care by Mitigare wants all San Miguel de Allende to know that hospice services are available to everyone in our community. The nonprofit organization has now been serving both Mexicans and expats for the last three years in San Miguel, providing skilled medical and emotional support for the patient and family through this sensitive, difficult, and important period in anyone’s life.
Mitigare’s doctors, nurses, social workers, and care team are specifically trained and certified in palliative care for end-of-life situations. They know how to keep the patient comfortable and as alert as possible and how to help the family prepare for each new stage of progressive illness. The goal of hospice care is that the last period of a person’s life be as rich as possible and that the patient has a “good death.”
Fees for our hospice care are very reasonable. Upon the patient’s admission, each family receives a socioeconomic evaluation to determine what percentage of our services they will be asked to pay. Everyone pays something—and we find that that is the desire of most families—but we calibrate the cost to fit the family’s financial means.
This financial model for sustainability has proven sound. We raise funds to cover the costs of patients and families unable to pay the full amount of services. In 2018, 83 percent of our patients received some level of financial assistance and patient payments covered 36 percent of overall medical expenses.
You may be surprised to know that hospice, also known as palliative care, is a relatively new concept in México, despite the fact that since 2010, Mexican law mandates that every person in México have access to palliative care at the end of life. Unfortunately, there is still very little funding, and only a very few competent health professionals practice in this specialized field of medicine. Our medical director, Doctora Lourdes Tejeida, is one of fewer than 100 Mexican physicians certified in palliative care, and Mitigare is one of only two private, nonprofit hospices in the country. Thus, in addition to patient services in San Miguel, an important part of our mission is to provide training and capacity building within all of México.
Thus, Hospice Care by Mitigare is organizing a conference to take place May 15–17 at the La Casona convention center to acquaint and orient 300 doctors, nurses, social workers, and caregivers from all over México into the realm of hospice care. Presenters will be the most highly regarded professionals in the field from Europe and Latin America.
Even after three years of operation, our greatest challenge is to make sure that all of San Miguel, Mexicans and expats alike, know that this crucial service is available to them in our community. Please help us spread the word. For more information, go to www.mitigare.org. To get questions answered in English, call 415 152 3070. To get medical questions answered, call 415 138 6145. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org