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Mexico's Healthcare System: Promises, Reality, and the 'Health Cartel'

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María Alejandra Trujillo
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Mexico's Healthcare System: Promises, Reality, and the 'Health Cartel'

President of Mexico, López Obrador, continues to promise that the country will have a healthcare system comparable to Denmark in the near future. However, the reality of the Mexican public healthcare system is alarming and is characterized by its deterioration under the current government. The elimination of the Popular Insurance and the Catastrophic Diseases Fund, poor management of the pandemic, and a shortage of medicines are clear examples of the decline.

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The Health Cartel: A Glimpse into Corruption

Additionally, the health sector has been plagued by corruption scandals, especially in the acquisition of medicines and medical equipment. Cases such as the sale of ventilators at exorbitant prices by León Manuel Bartlett, direct award contracts obtained by the son of the head of the CFE, and the network of phantom pharmacies linked to Carlos Lomelí, leading to significant diversion of resources, stand out.

The Ripple Effects of Corruption

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Corruption is also evident in contracts awarded by the government of Mexico City and in the distribution of federal resources to unregulated companies. This corruption, described as a 'Health Cartel,' diverts resources that could improve health infrastructure and services, and represents an affront to ethics and human dignity.

Healthcare vs. Work-Life Balance

A bill to cut the working day in Mexico by eight hours to 40 hours a week is unlikely to be approved this year, pushing the debate into early 2024 when Congress reconvenes. This could further burden the already strained healthcare system as the reduction of the working week would push up costs by between 10% and 20%, impacting the final consumer. Inside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) group of 38 industrialized nations, Mexico has the worst balance between personal life and work, further stressing the importance of a robust healthcare system.

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