Mexico will have a health care system comparable to those in Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark in two years, President López Obrador said yesterday.
Presenting the federal government’s new national health plan at an event to inaugurate new Social Security Institute (IMSS) offices in Morelia, Michoacán, López Obrador said the health system as it currently operates is rife with corruption and in a critical state.
The president, who last month announced a new integrated federal health system that will incorporate all of Mexico’s states within two years, took particular aim at the fact that some medications are not made available free of charge to patients in the public system.
“The basic table [of medications], we have to get rid of that, I’m not even going to mention it anymore. A patient must have [access to] all medications, it’s a disgrace that if a medicine is in the basic table, a patient gets it but if it’s not? 140,000 pesos [US $7,200] for a medication against cancer, where is a humble person going to get that kind of money? What are we going to do, send him home?” he said.
“We must guarantee the right to health care . . . We’re going to work for six months in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca, Veracruz, Tabasco, every six months more states will be incorporated [in the new health system], in order to have a system like that in Canada, the United Kingdom or Denmark, which are the best [in the world], that’s the commitment,” López Obrador added.
The leftist president, who took office on December 1 after winning last year’s election in a landslide, contended that the past government left the health care system in a worse state than the education system, of which he has also been highly critical.
López Obrador outlined the tasks his government will undertake, adding that if necessary it will open an international tendering process in order to obtain medicines at lower costs.
“The [health care] problem is so complex that it would be demagogic to say that we will resolve it this year. We have to build new health care centers, we have to finish incomplete health care centers and hospitals, hire medical personnel . . . we have to take the decision to not allow corruption in the purchase of medications and if necessary, open a tendering process to international companies, that buy medicines where they can be acquired at better prices,” he said.
The president said that in many cases politicians had become the suppliers of medications, which resulted in funds provided for their purchase being embezzled.
“That was the past, that corruption has come to an end. Nobody is going to steal the money for medicines . . .” López Obrador said.
Source: Milenio (sp)