Mexico is one of those countries which has in many ways made great progress but without grabbing the headlines. This is a situation and strategy which has been replicated in the Mexican healthcare system, a system which is seen by many as one of the leading healthcare services in the area. However, Mexico is a large country and as with other neighbouring countries in the region there is a major difference between those in poverty and those at the higher end of the income scale. So what provisions have been made for the various sectors of Mexican society?
General healthcare in Mexico
Under government regulations free health care is available to all members of the Mexican population and all non-nationals who live there. However, there are various layers to the Mexican healthcare system which many believe reduce the impact and the strength of funding for the service and can in many cases complicate the issue. There are also growing concerns about the variations in standards of treatment available to those in the larger cities and those in the more rural areas.
Social security healthcare in Mexico
As we mentioned above, free health care is available to all in Mexico although rather bizarrely the authorities have introduced added protections and added services for those employed by the authorities. Many people will also be surprised to learn that Mexico has one of the oldest hospitals in the world which dates back to 1791 and indeed has one of the oldest healthcare systems.
Private sector healthcare
As the Mexican economy began to grow so did demand for private sector healthcare although it is still only a fraction of the size of countries such as the USA. However, there are signs that the authorities are looking to encourage private healthcare insurance in Mexico to try and reduce the burden on the state budget and allow the authorities to target specific areas of the population.
Future healthcare in Mexico
While there is no doubt that great progress has been made with regards to medical provisions and medical services in Mexico there is also no doubt that large variations still exist between the standard of health care expected by those in the inner cities and those in more rural areas. This is by far and away the most disappointing aspect of the healthcare system in Mexico although there are also concerns regarding the many layers of administration from the government down to local authorities.
Expats in Mexico
Many expats in Mexico will look towards the private healthcare sector to ensure they are able to receive emergency treatment as and when required. If you are looking towards private medical healthcare many believe there is better value if you go through Mexican insurance companies rather than international healthcare companies, who may offer a one policy fits all for those travelling around the world.
As with so many countries in the Americas there is no doubt that the gap between healthcare for those on the poverty line and those at the higher end of the income spectrum is still very visible. However, progress has been made and the authorities seem adamant that those who require specific funding for medical healthcare will receive this in the future, while those who can afford to at least contribute will be asked to do so.