Mexico’s ABC Medical Centre takes the medical world by storm

Over the last 128 years, the ABC Medical Centre has been a leader in Mexican healthcare. Through a series of affiliations and notable projects, this not-for-profit institution has raised standards to an international level

The ABC Medical Centre is an IAP, so any financial surplus is reinvested in its health programmes

The ABC Medical Centre is a private not-for-profit institution dedicated to excellence in health promotion, restoration and preservation. It provides its patients with safety- and quality-based health services, characterised by a multidisciplinary, hospitable and humane approach.

The ABC Medical Centre provides a wide range of world-class level medical services and, having joined forces with the Methodist International of Houston, is the first hospital in Latin America to have become part of a global hospital network. It has been accredited by the Joint Commission International and the General Health Counsel, which back its status as a health institution that abides to the highest quality and security standards in the world. ABC also allocates financial and human resources to different programmes that benefit underprivileged communities, research and the development of highly specialised health services.

The ABC Medical Centre…is the first hospital in Latin America to have become part of a global hospital network

ABC is celebrating the 128th anniversary of its establishment as a health centre. The institution’s history is a chain of successful events that have positioned it as a leader in private medical care in Mexico. Its leadership is not only based on time: it is based on the events that have forged a legacy of strength, quality and experience.

ABC continues to be committed to its founding mission, which was to serve as an institution of corporate governance with a regulatory body or Board of Trustees, and to use and reinvest its profits through charitable, educational and research projects. The Board of Trustees ensures the institution remains on solid financial footing and is at all times looking towards the future.

Investing in patients
As a not-for-profit private institution (Private Assistance Institution, or IAP, for its acronym in Spanish), ABC Medical Centre reinvests its financial surplus and human talent in health programmes that benefit thousands of patients. It provides medical services to economically vulnerable populations through its Brimex ABC and ABC Amistad charity clinics and social support networks. ABC also runs a number of specialised support programmes, including kidney transplants, involuntary movement surgeries, hip and knee replacements, bariatric surgery, chemotherapy, radiosurgery, radioneurosurgery, and surgeries performed on head and neck tumours.

Though ABC has 128 years of experience, it isn’t an old institution; it is an organisation with a formula that seeks constant innovation and is responsive to changes. For example, it has forged affiliations with the best hospitals in the US, such as the Methodist Hospital System in Houston, Texas, and the Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation in New Jersey. These partnerships provide the ABC Medical Centre with the opportunity to exchange knowledge and best practices in order to offer its patients the best care available.

ABC’s efforts to improve quality were reflected when the institution was awarded
the 2011 National Quality Award, the 2011 Ibero-American Quality Award, reaccreditation through the Joint Commission International and recertification through the General Health Council. These recognitions have not been granted to any other healthcare institution in Mexico.

Making it better
ABC has more than 50 years of academic experience through its partnership with the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, training health professionals through its student intern rotation, 15 medical specialties and nine high specialty post-graduate courses. The institution has formed a partnership with the Tecnológico de Monterrey to create the TEC-ABC School of Medicine, which offers a Medical Sciences degree at its Santa Fe Campus. This project will create a long-term association between two prestigious institutions in a quest for constant innovation, excellence in their processes and continual growth.

In its continuing search for excellence, the institution has implemented the ‘Just Culture’ model: an ethical framework that fosters patient safety by pursuing the highest standards among personnel, and in ABC’s safety culture, internal policies and practices. The goals of the Just Culture model may only be achieved if it is understood that health institutions function as humans, and that they are fallible. In applying this model, ABC seeks to transform its culture so errors are not personalised: rather, processes may be analysed and systemic failures may be corrected. This will produce a reliable organisation that fosters incident reporting, strengthens leadership, forges teamwork between different areas, and implements best practices through education, training and staff trust.

In order to provide better services for its patients, in May 2013 ABC Medical Centre inaugurated its new Observatorio Hospitalisation Tower. This is a new centre for inpatient services and allows ABC to offer more efficient patient care within a comfortable and safe environment. It was designed to exploit green technology, promoting care for both patients and the environment.

The history of the ABC Medical Centre


The US ambassador and the American Benevolent Society laid the first stone of the American Hospital – which opened its doors on December 12 – in order to provide medical care to North Americans in Mexico.


Lady Cowdray, wife of the English entrepreneur pivotal in the building of Mexico’s infrastructure in the late 1800s, founded the Lady Cowdray District Nurses Association: a medical care facility for treating the Mexican and foreign populations of the country.


Lord and Lady Cowdray donated one million gold pesos to acquire the land used to build the Cowdray Sanatorium.


The Cowdray Sanatorium was inaugurated. It is known locally as ‘the English Hospital’ due to its British roots and staff.


The American Hospital and the Cowdray Sanatorium merge to form the American British Cowdray Hospital, IAP: known today as the ABC Medical Centre.


The Ladies Volunteer Group was founded as a response to the polio epidemic in Mexico. To this day, the ‘Pink Ladies’ are considered the most professional group of volunteers in the country.


The Adele Ann Yglesias School of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and the ABC School of Nursing opened their doors to provide highly trained personnel in Mexico.


The Brimex ABC charity clinic facilities were inaugurated, and served as the hub of operations for medical care and services for lower-income patients. The name ‘Brimex’ came from the joint effort of the British and Mexican communities after the catastrophic earthquake of 1985 in Mexico City.


The institution became a specialised medical centre, and changed its name to the ABC Medical Centre.


The Santa Fe Campus facilities were inaugurated, making it the leading private hospital in the country.


Activities commenced at the ABC Amistad Clinic, which was established to create healthy environments within the community. The project’s objective was to prevent diseases though early detection programmes. On November 6, the affiliation agreement was signed with the Methodist International in Houston, Texas. This affiliation fostered the standardisation of the most efficient processes for patient safety and satisfaction, raising the quality of care to an international level.


The ABC OB/GYN and Paediatrics Centre opened its doors, offering specialised care and clinics in fertility, laparoscopic surgery and paediatric care.


The ABC Cancer Centre was inaugurated. As the only private cancer centre in the area, it quickly became the most important community health project undertaken in Mexico City.


The Centre for Neurology, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation opened its doors, offering comprehensive and multidisciplinary medical care. Thanks to its strong affiliation with the Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation in the US, ABC was able to offer the newest in neurological rehabilitation techniques.


The new Observatorio Hospitalisation Tower was inaugurated. The first generation of students at the TEC-ABC School of Medicine entered in August, to begin this joint venture in medical training.

Related topics: