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Universal Health Care In Mexico

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Health care is essential for all individuals regardless of where the person may reside. Every country has their own health care system set up differently from others. Mexico has experienced a great deal of progress over the past couple of decades. Although the health system has tried to improve through different health insurance and attempting to improve the quality of care it's safe to say that they still face many challenges (OECD,2016).

The World Health Organization had defined universal health coverage as a program for individuals to assess high quality services needed such as preventative care, treatments, and palliative care without facing financial hardships (Shawn Radcliffe, 2007). Mexico's healthcare system encompasses private and public, employer-funded health coverage and military ( InterNations n.d). The public sector is composed of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), the Institute of Security and Social Services for State Workers (ISSSTE), and the Popular Health Insurance also known as Seguro Popular (Roberto Castro, 2014). All Mexican citizens receive insurance and have availability for basic healthcare. Before 2003, approximately 40 % of population was covered by the IMSS and 7% by the ISSSTE, and no more than 2-3% had private insurance (Mexico's Healthcare System,2016). During this time this left 50 % of the population lacking adequate access to public health insurance. This meant that out of pocket expenses had to be made when visiting healthcare facilities and many individuals could not afford these expenses. It was then that the government passed the health care system of Seguro Popular (2016). Poor families that are unable to qualify for social security are able to receive insurance through Seguro Popular which is open for the public and intended to help the less fortunate (Julio Frenk, e.g at, 2009). Since this has been issued as an option 50 million people who were uninsured are benefitted ( InterNation, n.d). This had a purpose for the public to reduce out-of-pocket expenses while trying to provide quality health care (Mexican healthcare system challenges and opportunities, 2015).Each health care sector have their own physicians, pharmacies, and health care centers and each individual needs to be attended in those locations (2016). For individuals who are covered through the IMSS, are responsible for a monthly premium which is calculated based on their wages. In 2003, systems of social protection in health was established to increase public funding to guarantee universal health care coverage (Julio Frenk, et at., 2009).

Like any health insurance, there are advantages and disadvantages. For example, Seguro popular is affordable but services can be slow and hospitals tend to be overcrowded. If a patient needs to consult with a specialist, they may have to be on a waitlist due to the overpopulation of individuals enlisted under this insurance. In addition, IMSS provides universal healthcare to Mexican families, although they'll be assigned to local clinics they can go for regular checkup and obtain prescriptions for free. However, not all pharmaceutical drugs are available at their local pharmacies, which then have to be prescribed to a private pharmacy where they would need to pay out of pocket. IMSS insurance does not include eye care, dental visits, or infertility treatments. If an individual with this insurance is admitted to an inpatient hospital, families and friends are expected to bring all the necessary amenities, such as prescription drugs (Mexperience, 2019). This also proves that Mexico's healthcare system is still lacking resources and quality healthcare. Of course, Mexican residents would prefer private insurance, as this gives them the accessibility to visit private doctors, hospital, and clinics where it is not overcrowded. Private insurance coverage also depends on the individuals age, term of coverage, and deductible one Is paying (2019). Mexico roughly spends 6.3 percent of its budget on health care which is one of the lowest rates in the OECD. This means that about 45% out of pockets expenses are made Castro 2014). Major source of funding comes from federal taxes with contributions made from states. The IMSS funding's come from employers, workers, and the government. As for Seguro popular funding's come from the federal government, state health services, and individuals. In addition, 20 percent from the poor are spared from payments and still be able to receive services (2014).

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According to OECD reviews of health system, preventative care is a concern in the country of Mexico. It was stated that 32% of the adult population was obese, ranking Mexico to be the second most obese in the OECD nation. In addition, almost 1 in 6 adults are diabetic, this information demonstrates that there have been serious inefficiencies in their health care system starting with preventative care (2016). This has brought the attention to most citizens and have resulted them in visiting private clinics although having insurance. In results, the health system has failed to improve quality health care. Nurses play a vital role in health promotion, disease prevention, and care. In many countries nurses may have different accessibility to what they can do. For example, Mexico recently passed a law to allow nurses to prescribe medications in the absence of a doctor in emergency situations (PAHO,2018). Mexico is providing opportunity and potential for development of the Advanced Practice Nursing role (Pérez-Cuevas, Muñoz Hernández, & Gutiérrez Trujillo, 2010). Advanced practice nurses is beneficial for Mexico because this can potentially remove lacking quality care in vulnerable areas.

Mexico approached the universal coverage Seguro Popular (Popular Health Insurance) which had the purpose to improve access to those families that were poor and couldn't afford health services. Many people have their opinion on Seguro Polpular, they either feel that this insurance provides healthcare equality and others believe it is still lacking quality in services provided (InterNations, n.d). One positive outcome of the health care system is that due to the new availability of vaccinations and preventative drugs malaria rate and tuberculosis mortality has declined significantly. Although the conditions are greatly improved in the western world, Mexico still present a great health risk (InterNations, n.d).

The US health care system and Mexico have made an investment in their healthcare. According to NHE fact sheet, the US spent 17 percent of its gross domestic product and Mexico spent 3.3 percent of its gross domestic product. In addition, the US spends more money per person on healthcare than in any other country and still have lower life expectancy (2017). Even though Seguro Popular was introduced, the OECD has reported that out of pocket expenses remain at a 45 % which is still very high because this is equal to 4 percent of their household expenses (2017). Undeniably, Seguro Popular has reduced deleterious spending on health service. For example, inpatient and outpatient medical care for both poor families and the overall populations out of pocket was reduced (2017). Unfortunately, medical devices and medication were not reduced in out of pocket spending (2017).

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Universal Health Care In Mexico. (2021, September 07). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 10, 2023, from
“Universal Health Care In Mexico.” Edubirdie, 07 Sept. 2021,
Universal Health Care In Mexico. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 10 Dec. 2023].
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