The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) will invest 13 billion pesos (US $677.2 million) to build 111 new hospitals by 2024, director Zoé Robledo said on Thursday.
The social security chief also said that 132 family clinics will be built and 120 hospitals will be remodeled.
Speaking at an international healthcare conference in Mexico City, Robledo said the government’s healthcare infrastructure plans are the “biggest and most ambitious” in Mexico’s history.
He said the goal is to have one hospital bed for every 1,000 IMSS beneficiaries by the end of the government’s six-year term. There are currently 0.69 beds per 1,000 people with IMSS health insurance, Robledo said.
The IMSS chief pledged that none of the projects will become white elephants.
“If something is budgeted for it’s because it has to be done. If it’s going to be done, it’s because it’s really needed,” Robledo said.
He also said that no new hospitals will be inaugurated until they have a full workforce and all the equipment and services they require to operate.
IMSS infrastructure coordinator Juan Manuel Delgado said that Coahuila and Sonora are priority states, explaining that the former needs 10 new hospitals and 14 additional clinics to meet demand.
President López Obrador said in January that Mexico would have a health care system comparable to those in Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark in two years.
However, hospitals across the country faced shortages of doctors, nurses and medicines this year due to a reduction in federal health care funding. Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer said in May that the funding problem had been fixed.
A poll published on Friday showed that 53% of respondents approve of the president’s performance in the area of healthcare while 28.3% disapprove.
Source: El Economista (sp)