A decade ago, half of Mexico’s population was without health insurance. Since then, the government passed a law to guarantee care and created an insurance program called Seguro Popular. Salomon Chertorivski was appointed to run the new program. In an interview with NewsHour, Chertorivski explains why this year brings excited news for health care in Mexico.
Chertorivski explains that since Seguro Popular, which directly translates to Popular Insurance, was organized, over 50 million Mexicans have registered. These people, paired with those receiving health care benefits from a formal job, are helping the country reach an important milestone in December of this year: universal coverage.
Despite this, Chertorivski says reaching this milestone is not without its challenges. The government has constructed over 1,000 hospitals and clinics over the past five years but is concerned that the quality will not be consistant. The government will have to make maintaining the new hospitals a priority to ensure that excellent service is provided no matter where in the country a patient receives care.
Mexico is also concerned with an aging population. Today, only 9% of the population is over 60 years of age. However, in 2040, one out of every four Mexicans will be over 60. The country will experience a problem similar to the United States and the aging Baby Boomers.
Even with the global recession, Chertorivski is not concerned with health care fitting into the Mexican budget. Health care is a top priority of President Calderon and $40 billion US dollars are invested annually. He also believes that an investment in health care is also an investment in economic growth, development, and higher productivity.