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
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
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
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
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,
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.