Will Mexico offer universal health care?
Since it started operating on January 2020, the Insabi has been surrounded by a lot of criticism - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL

Will Mexico offer universal health care?

Mexico City
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Critics wonder if Mexico has the necessary resources and infrastructure to offer free health care

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Today, EL UNIVERSAL presents two different perspectives in regards to the new health institute, Insabi, which was created to replace the Seguro Popular. On one hand, Juan Ferrer, the head of the Insabi, defends the newly created health institute and affirms that its flaws and uncertainty are the products of the resistance faced by the ambitious project since it affects economic interests and the inertia that dominated the previous health institute for years. Also, the official says that the budget allocated to the Insabi is much higher than the one allocated to the Seguro Popular.

The federal government considers that the eradication of corruption in the health sector, especially in the case of the purchase of medicines, would free a large part of the budget that will allow establishing free health care for people without social security and health services. Or is the government betting that the unemployed, self-employed, and underemployed sectors are a minority?

Mexico's new free healthcare institute spreads confusion

Julio Frenk Mora, the Health Minister during the Vicente Fox administration and who was in charge of the creation of the now-extinct Seguro Popular, warns of a possible failure at the Insabi because it put the federal government in charge of medical attention, which was handed over to local governments in previous administrations. Moreover, the former official explains that the Seguro Popular was only a branch of an authentic universal healthcare program that would offer medical services to all the population, which would be restructured by taking the IMSS, ISSSTE, SSA, Pemex, Issemym, and others as its axis; the plan was to strengthen all these institutes to that they could provide services to more people, without deteriorating the quality of the service. The former official adds that free healthcare does not exist in any country and that the promise that the Insabi will offer it is impossible.

Therefore, federal authorities have to understand that providing free and universal healthcare is an ambitious proposal that requires a lot of planning, detailed studies, and a trial period that allows its improvement and to correct mistakes. Doing things on the go is not the best option in this case.

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