Health Care in Mexico




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Health Care in Mexico

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Health Care in Mexico

  1. Analysis of Social System, and Cultural & History

Social and Political Structure: in Mexico, there are three levels of the government that is the federal government, state government and the local government. The local government is the lowest level of government that is mainly made up of municipalities in Mexico. The local government is headed by a municipal mayor or president (Cleary, 2007). The mayor is responsible for signing laws passed by the municipality assembly into law. He or she is also supposed to oversee the implementation of various local government programs, such as provision of water and medical services. Local government has an assembly that is made up of councilors who are elected in the wards to act as representative of the electorates in different wards in the country.

Local government has departments that are responsible for helping the government perform various functions. For example, it has a health department that is responsible for providing emergency medical services to the resident of the municipality at all times. Based on the existing local government structures in Mexico, it is evident that local governments in the country play a critical role in the area of providing health services to the people.

Another significant aspect of the social system in Mexico is the education structure. Education in any given country is a key when it comes to the development and growth of different economic sectors, such as health. There are three key levels of education in Mexico. The first level is the primary education. This is the most important level, as a student is introduced to the basic education in the country. It starts by an individual going to elementary school to learn basic writing and reading skills. After passing the elementary school tests, a student then graduate to primary school, where different subjects are taught.

The second level of education is the secondary school system. This system provides education to those students who pass exams in the primary education level. The system is critical in the provision of education that forms the basis of an individual student career. The students are given an opportunity to select subjects that they feel comfortable in them. For instance, those who intend to undertake a career in any medical field are able to select sciences as they form the basis of them studying medicine related courses, such as clinical medicine or nursing.

The third level of education in the country’s education system is the tertiary level. It is made up of colleges and universities. It is responsible for impacting students with vocational skills. Those who score high grades are accorded an opportunity to undertake degree and diploma programs in the country’s universities. On the other hand, the average students are given an opportunity to get vocational training in different private and state colleges.

The tertiary education level is essential in the country’s health system. It is responsible for providing vocational training to various professionals working in the country’s health care institutions (Varela, 2006). The quality of services offered by the health professionals is determined by the quality of training they receive in the tertiary institutions of learning in the country offering medical training. Thus, having a strong tertiary institutions offering medical training is essential when it comes to enhancing the capability of the country’s providing quality and affordable medical services to the citizens.

Another critical aspect of the country’s social system is the social services agencies. Social services agencies are important when it comes to the provision of medical related services to the citizens in emergency situations. One of the key agencies is the ministry of health. The agency is responsible for developing policies and budget to guide the practice of health care in Mexico. The training of health professionals is usually under the hands of the ministry of health. The ministry of health has departments at the federal, state and local government levels.

In addition, Red Cross is another important social agency in the country. It is responsible for providing emergency medical and evacuation services to the Mexican. It is a critical agency as far as the provision of the emergency medical services is concerned in the country. If, the Red Cross agency did not exist in Mexico, most of the people would end up not accessing medical services during crisis, such as accidents, earth quakes or other natural calamities. Thus, existence of social agencies in the ministry of health in the country is critical for enhancing the accessibility of health in the country.

Culture and History: There are several ethnic groups in Mexico. The Mestizos are the largest ethnic group in the country. This ethnic group is made up of individuals who are the mixture of Indians and Spanish. The group is responsible for controlling the key economic resources in the country. The second largest ethnic group is the indigenous people. Other ethnic groups found in the country include Arab Mexican, European Mexican, Asian Mexican, Afro-Mexican Huichol and Jews (Hamnett, 2006). The most widely practiced cultural practices in the country are the indigenous culture and the Spanish culture. The Spanish culture has a great influence in the attitudes of the people towards health care. It has led to many people accepting modern medicine, such as family planning contrary to the traditional cultural practices of the indigenous people which are opposed to the practice of family planning.

The widely practiced regions in the country are Christianity and traditional religious practices. However, there are the minority Muslims and Jewish in the country. Most of the people possess the Catholic faith and it has a great influence on their attitude towards health care services. Mexico throughout its history has gone through difficult periods, such as revolutions creating political instabilities. The greatest revolution in the country was the Mexican revolution that ushered in the era of freedom that most of the Mexican enjoys today.

Culture plays an imperative role when it comes to the attitude of people towards health and illness (Bhui et al., 2007). Culture determines the way of life of the people. Thus, it determines the healthy or unhealthy way of living for the people. For instance, it determines the eating habits of the people, hence, impacting on their eating habits in a healthy or unhealthy ways. On the other hand, culture determines the attitude of individuals toward illness in a positive or negative way. For instance, there are those illnesses that are viewed as a curse from the ancestors, and family members may have negative attitudes toward patients who have these illnesses.

Mexican religious and cultural practices as well as attitudes have a great impact on the health care practices in the country. They ensure that those engaged in the health care practice are culturally competent in order to provide a high level of services to the patients that are culturally sensitive (Bhui et al., 2007). For example, doctors have to understand the patient’s faith so that they can determine how it impacts their attitudes towards various forms of treatment. Secondly, culture and religion result in some of the people opposing certain forms of treatments. For example, those possessing the Catholic faith due to the teachings they get from the church are usually opposed to family planning, and it is a challenge for the medical personnel to convince them to accept family planning.

  1. Health Care System and Resources

The Mexican health care system is made up of six key institutions. The first institution is MSSI, which is a state organization that is responsible for assisting in the provision of public health, social security and pensions to the Mexicans (Puig, Pahan & Wong, 2009) The second institution is ISSSTE, a state agency responsible for providing health coverage to those working for the state.

Seguro Popular is another important institution that is responsible for providing universal health care coverage to all the Mexicans. On the other hand, PREMEX is a government institution that is responsible for assessing the quality of health care services offered in the Mexican health care system (Puig, Pagán & Wong, 2009). SEDENA is an institution responsible for providing health coverage for those working in the defense forces. SEMAR is another key institution when it comes to the provision of health care coverage in Mexico.

The health care in Mexico is funded through three ways. The government is responsible for funding the health care through employment and payment of salaries for health professionals working in the public sector. It is responsible also for providing state health care coverage through its key institutions in order to make accessibility and affordability of health care easier in the country. The public is also responsible for funding for the medical services they receive through payment of taxes to the government. Lastly, private organizations such as employers and insurance companies contribute to the funding of the health care in the country.

The financing of the Mexican health care system is done through two main ways. Firstly, it is done through out of pocket payments which constitute about half of the Mexican health care system financing. Secondly, through insurance coverage, for those individuals with insurance plans covering their health and the insurance companies pay for their health care services.

The following diagram shows the structure of the Mexican health care system in the public sector;

Leadership in the health care system in Mexico is provided by the ministry of health from the federal government level (Horton & Cole, 2011). The ministry provides guidelines and supervision on the way health care services are supposed to be provided to the members of the public. It is also important to note that incentives are given in the health care system in Mexico in terms of finances with an objective of improving the quality of care that is provided by hospitals and physicians.

There are a number of human resource issues facing the Mexican public health care system. The country has inadequate health care professionals, such as doctors and nurses, with most of the government health care institutions lacking key personnel. In addition, there are many unemployed physicians in urban areas compared to rural areas in Mexico.

One of the most effective health models that can be used in improving the quality offered to patients in Mexico is through contracting out health services. This can ensure that those involved in the provision of health care services providing high quality services so that they can be contracted in the future (Horton & Cole, 2011).

The mode of service delivery in the country’s health care system is through autonomous hospitals, both private and public (Horton & Cole, 2011). The practitioners who are licensed by the relevant government agencies also play an instrumental role in the provision of services to the patients. It is important to note that there is adequate availability of health care services in urban areas in the country, while there are inadequate health services in most of the rural areas in the country.

The technology is widely used in the Mexican health care system. There is the use of electronic health records making it easier to retrieve patient data for purposes of enhancing the quality of services offered to patients. Furthermore, there is transparency use of data that is available on various health issues. The government provides the data to the members of the public. For instance, it provides data on outbreak of any major health issue.

The quality of health care is a major issue in the public health care sector. The quality issues arise due to lack of adequate personnel and underfunding from the government. On the other hand, the private hospitals provide high quality health services compared to government hospitals. Also, there are high disparities when it comes to the provision of the health care services in Mexico (Frenk, Gómez-Dantés & Knaul, 2009). The poor are usually underserved and the elderly as they cannot afford the expensive cost of acquiring quality services. High levels of poverty also increase disparities as far as access to quality health care is concerned Ortiz-(Hernández, Pérez-Salgado & Tamez-González, 2014). In addition, remote areas lack adequate personnel needed for providing quality services to the patients.

In the recent years, Mexico health care system is using most of its resources in dealing with chronic diseases, such as cancer. Communicable diseases are other major illness that poses a challenge to the country’s health care system.  There is basic health care package available to all Mexican provided through state universal health coverage.

The public health sector is faced with a challenge of lack of clarity on functions that are supposed to be played by various professions (Jones, 2015). For example, there are no clear policies outlining those roles of health nurses and promotras leading to duplication of functions and conflicts. The country is making efforts so that it can move towards more universal health coverage for all the Mexicans in the future. The government has its own agencies that are responsible for ensuring that quality care is provided both in private as well as in the government hospitals in Mexico. Finally, both secondary and primary levels of care are provided in the Mexican health care system.










Bhui, K., Warfa, N., Edonya, P., McKenzie, K., & Bhugra, D. (2007). Cultural competence in mental health care: a review of model evaluations. BMC Health Services Research, 7(1), 15.

Cleary, M. R. (2007). Electoral competition, participation, and government responsiveness in Mexico. American Journal of Political Science, 51(2), 283-299.

Frenk, J., Gómez-Dantés, O., & Knaul, F. M. (2009). The democratization of health in Mexico: financial innovations for universal coverage. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 87(7), 542-548.

Hamnett, B. R. (2006). A concise history of Mexico. Cambridge University Press.

Horton, S., & Cole, S. (2011). Medical returns: seeking health care in Mexico. Social science & medicine, 72(11), 1846-1852.

Jones, M (2015). Mexican Healthcare System Challenges and Opportunities. Global Strategies.

Ortiz-Hernández, L., Pérez-Salgado, D., & Tamez-González, S. (2014). [Socioeconomic inequality and health in Mexico]. Revista medica del Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, 53(3), 336-347.

Puig, A., Pagán, J. A., & Wong, R. (2009). Assessing Quality across Health Care Subsystems in Mexico. The Journal of ambulatory care management, 32(2), 123.

Varela, G. (2006). The higher education system in Mexico at the threshold of change. International Journal of Educational Development, 26(1), 52-66.




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