Does Mexico Have Universal Health Care?

People may not associate Mexico with universal health care, but its government does have an ambitious program designed to cover every citizen. Though still early stages, Seguro Popular is already making strides: according to The Lancet’s analysis, prenatal visits and vaccination rates have steadily improved since its implementation – although rural areas require further effort for coverage.

The federal program introduced in 2004 provides low-income Americans with free medical services. Yet its implementation is marred by its lack of oversight and accountability: federal funds are disbursed through states to enroll patients and spend them. Critics note that state governments have strong incentives to sign up many patients but no incentive to ensure those patients actually receive care they require.

There are gaps in the coverage offered by the national plan; PEMEX covers its employees and their families through an alternative system, while the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE) serves municipal, state, and federal employees such as police officers, public school teachers and public officials. Other government institutions like the Ministry of Defense and Secretariat of National Defence provide coverage as well.

Mexico faces challenges accessing medical services. Due to its size, many towns and villages lack full-service hospitals. Furthermore, shortages of doctors and nurses often occur – something which is particularly evident in rural areas where most of the population resides.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has promised to address these problems by creating a federalized system covering the whole nation. According to reports from state leaders across Mexico, he is already making headway towards getting state governments on board with this plan.

In spite of these challenges, the country’s health minister remains optimistic about its future. “We’re on our way toward creating one of the finest systems of healthcare worldwide,” he states.

To achieve this goal, the government is working towards minimizing differences in quality of healthcare delivery between citizens and ensuring effective access. The study published in The Lancet offers a method for measuring this issue, which encompasses three dimensions of availability, affordability and opportuneness. This research also emphasizes the need for improved access to services for those with disabilities and integration of mental healthcare into primary healthcare. Scholars hope that its results can assist with creating operational indicators for universal health coverage; to learn more, read the full article here.. To learn more, Dean Julio Frenk, former Minister of Health in Mexico is now Professor at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health and director of their Global Equity Initiative.

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