President López Obrador has announced a new integrated federal health system that will incorporate all of Mexico’s states within two years.
The president told reporters at his daily press conference today that eight states will be added to the new federally-operated system every six months.
The first to be included will be Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, Tabasco, Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Campeche.
The president said the public health system as it is currently organized, with federal and state authorities offering separate services, is not working and that his plan will fix it.
“The agreement means that the states will transfer [management] of their health care services to the federal government, which will be in charge of the whole health system,” López Obrador said.
Health funding currently allocated to state governments will instead be used by the federal government, he added, explaining that a constitutional reform would allow that to occur.
The leftist president, who has promised to create a universal and free health care system such as those in Canada and Europe, said the federal government has a budget of 90 billion pesos (US $4.5 billion) to create the system and that 25 billion additional pesos will be allocated to implementing it in the first eight states.
López Obrador also said that the Seguro Popular health care program – which offers free health care services to people with no other insurance – will be replaced by a new scheme.
“It’s obvious that it hasn’t worked, it’s not insurance and it’s not popular. It’s going to be replaced by a public health system that guarantees quality medical care and free medication,” he said.
The president will officially present his federal health plan at an event in Mérida, Yucatán, later today.
Source: El Financiero (sp)