Mexico has one opportunity to rescue the IMSS

The current administration is trying to prevent the collapse of the social security institute

Mexico has one opportunity to rescue the IMSS
A diagnosis issued by the current administration alerts about the risks for the institute - Photo: Eduardo Trejo Trejo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 24/12/2019 09:25 Mexico City Editorial Actualizada 09:25
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The precarious state of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) didn’t happen overnight. It was a snowball that grew bigger for decades, to the point where the current administration is trying to prevent its collapse.

A diagnosis issued by the current administration alerts about the risks for the institute. For years, long waits, overcrowded hospitals and clinics, delays in surgeries or lab tests, as well as medicine shortage have been common. Now it’s been revealed that besides this deplorable situation, all of its clinics and hospitals operate using old equipment and medical instruments that risk the lives of 52.7 million users.

Mexican doctors improvise to save lives

On average, the equipment is between 35 and 36 years old. The modernization of IMSS hospitals and clinics should have taken place during the previous administrations, but other governments ignored their responsibility to offer quality medical attention to almost half of the country.

The federal government has focused on hiring staff and guaranteeing the supply of medicines but this effort won’t have an impact if the medical equipment is obsolete. Renewing the 201,000 pieces of equipment requires at least MXN $18,611 million. In 2020, the government will spend around MXN $6,000 million in new equipment, only a third of what is needed. Therefore, solving the problem will take several years, as a result of the lack of resources.

The collapse of Mexico's public health system

The IMSS is besieged on different flanks: the lack of supplies and staff and even the payment of pensions to its workers. Allowing the situation to deteriorate further would affect an important sector of society, especially those in need.

The government vowed to offer quality medical attention; nevertheless, rising the IMSS from the ashes, after several decades, will require efficient use of public resources.

When IMSS beneficiaries notice positive changes, they will be the first to acknowledge the. This is perhaps the last opportunity to rescue the Mexican institution.

Public hospitals in Mexico are running out of money

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