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International Healthcare in Mexico



Healthcare in Mexico

As far as overall health is concerned, Mexicans have come a long way.  Not many countries, if any, can claim that average life expectancy has been extended by 25 or more years in the short span of last 50 years.  Undoubtedly, this amazing achievement is made possible as the healthcare industry in Mexico experiences progressive improvement.  As good as the statistic sounds, there are still some who have fallen through the cracks.  Not all Mexicans enjoy the fruits of the improvement in the country's health care.

Mexico Public and Private Healthcare

 Overall, the government ploughed back up to 6% of gross domestic product (or GDP) to invest in public healthcare program.  It is believed that some 40% of its population are entitled to health insurance benefits provided by their private employers.  The private and public healthcare sectors are not divided along a permanent line as the government has a strategy that could encourage investment and participation for both public and private health care providers.  At its core, the local healthcare scene can be aptly described into three components, and they are: the Social Security Institute, government programs for those uninsured, and the private sector that provides medical coverage through insurance subscription.

 According to Mexico's Secretariat of  Health, the federal government is obliged to make sure all its population residing in the rural areas are able to access free medical help through public programs. On national scale, the government's commitment is to ensure all residents in the country have free access to emergency, vaccination, and oral re-hydration services. To support this effort, some 40% more public hospitals were planned (or in the midst of being built) during the period of 1985 to 1995.  In contrast, investment from the private sector tends to be less aggressive and the hospitals built are often much smaller in comparison with relatively expensive medical services. To put it into perspective, only a handful of private hospitals can house 14 beds comfortably, and half of them can accommodate just 4 beds or less.

Even as the Mexican government embarks on such expansive drive to deliver medical services to the country, it is believed that approximately 10% of its residents are deprived of access to healthcare.  The commonly cited reason is the lack of financial means. Even with the best effort from the government, medical services and medicines are expensive in relation to the average income of the population.  And the fact that this is a country which does not boast of high savings rate, this only serves to compound the matter further.  Another reason is that Mexico is a huge country, getting from point A to point B poses a challenge (especially for those in the rural areas) in terms of distance to be covered as well as the availability of transport infrastructure to get to medical help.  Finally there is also the sense of suspicions (or lack of trust) from average Mexicans towards the local healthcare providers. The combination of factors mentioned above has hampered the speed and ambition to make decent healthcare widely available across Mexico, and they are expected to pose long term challenge to the health authority in the country.

 There is also a set of legislations in place to promote healthcare in Mexico. For example, Article 4 of the Constitution stated that free or subsidized healthcare must be made available to all local populations in Mexico.  Subject to employment status and income level, a federal subsidy is granted whenever a patient walks into a public hospital for medical attention. The subsidy would either offset the total bill either in part or in full.
Additionally, employees employed in the private sector can also benefit from the health care program run by the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social (IMSS) (English: Mexican Social Security Institute). The sources of its fund are the employee, his or her private employer, and the federal government.

 IMSS are out of bound for people working in the public sector but they can be qualify for Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado (ISSSTE) (English: Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers) instead. ISSSTE looks after the medical insurance needs for public workers and it covers all government servants across local, state or federal level.
Compared to other OECD countries, Mexico does not really rank high with regards to health status and general healthcare availability. In term of investment in healthcare, the average amount is US$675 per capita, which constitutes no more than 25% of OECD average.

Finding the right Health Insurance in Mexico

Finding the best Health Insurance for your needs in Mexico can be challenging. We are here to help you to make your choice among a wide choice of Medical Providers. Please do not hesitate to ask us for a free quote whether it be for your relatives of for yourself. Choosing the right medical insurance plan will give you peace of mind while traveling to Mexico.

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