The possible dark scenario Mexico’s health care system faces

Never before has the Mexican health care system been so severely tested. On one side, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is advancing. 367 cases and four deaths in the country, and on the other hand, a measles epidemic is approaching, with 67 confirmed cases in Mexico City so far.

This, of course, gives us a lot to think about since according to the statistics of the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval), in 2018 (there are NO statistics since AMLO became president) some 20 million Mexicans claimed to have had a bad experience when going to the health services. What is worse, in the same statistic, we can observe an important number who say they did not even have the opportunity to access any care.

According to the newspaper El Universal, the largest number of people in this situation are in

– State of Mexico with 3,489,000 cases
– Mexico City with 1,761,000 cases
– Jalisco with 1,591,000 cases
– Veracruz with 1,379,000 cases
– Puebla with 1,328,000 cases
– Michoacán with 995,136 cases Chiapas with 961,125 cases
– Guanajuato with 814,780 cases
– Nuevo Leon with 689,629 cases
– Oaxaca with 665,124 cases

Given the above, with COVID-19 on the one hand and a possible measles epidemic that could expand nationally, it will put Mexico’s health services to the test, as well as its infrastructure… or else it will overwhelm them.

The National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy, in addition to measuring the lack of access to medical benefits, also studies, as a different factor, the lack of social security services. As of 2018, 71,659,273 Mexicans were already dissatisfied with this issue.

Faced with this scenario, experts, researchers, doctors, to name a few, were those who launched real and tangible containment actions to protect the population during the pandemic, which they described as urgent… NOT THE GOVERNMENT since it was the president of the Republic who disdained them, called them “exaggerated”, and minimized their efforts.

Yesterday I wrote about the lack of confidence there is towards the health sector in Mexico and its numbers. Amongst the measures suggested by the WHO, is the tests for covid-19 to the population except… there are not enough.

With many friends and acquaintances in the National Health System, I can testify that there are highly qualified personnel and before this government, a good infrastructure, however, there is something that is a fact. They cannot face the challenge of this coronavirus pandemic in Mexico alone.

The data available at this moment are the following:
The number of cases of COVID-19 has increased by a factor of 1.25. The Ministry of Health confirmed in one of its press conferences at the National Palace that 2% of patients are considered serious and require further evaluation.

So far:
63% of the cases are men
37% women

Hospitalization is as it follows: 
90% outpatient and its home care.
The remaining 10% required medical attention at a second level.

Of which:
6% remains stable
2% is in critical condition

The Ministry of Health reports that the average hospitalization rate in Mexico is below the world average of 15% to 16%. It is up to each to believe… or not.

José E. Urioste Palomeque
For The Yucatan Times / Times Media Mexico
March 24, 2020
Merida Yucatan, Mexico