The Democratization of Health in Mexico: Financial Innovations for Universal Coverage

Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2009;87(7): 485-564

7 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2012 Last revised: 28 May 2012

See all articles by Julio Frenk

Julio Frenk

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Octavio Gómez-Dantés

Government of Mexico - Center for Health Systems Research

Felicia Knaul

Mexican Health Foundation; Harvard Global Equity Initiative

Date Written: Mayo 25, 2009

Abstract

In 2003, the Mexican Congress approved a reform establishing the Sistema de Protección Social en Salud [System of Social Protection in Health], whereby public funding for health is being increased by one percent of the 2003 gross domestic product over seven years to guarantee universal health insurance. Poor families that had been excluded from traditional social security can now enrol in a new public insurance scheme known as Seguro Popular [People’s Insurance], which assures legislated access to a comprehensive set of health-care entitlements. This paper describes the financial innovations behind the expansion of health-care coverage in Mexico to everyone and their effects. Evidence shows improvements in mobilization of additional public resources; availability of health infrastructure and drugs; service utilization; effective coverage; and financial protection. Future challenges are discussed, among them the need for additional public funding to extend access to costly interventions for non-communicable diseases not yet covered by the new insurance scheme, and to improve the technical quality of care and the responsiveness of the health system. Eventually, the progress achieved so far will have to be reflected in health outcomes, which will continue to be evaluated so that Mexico can meet the ultimate criterion of reform success: better health through equity, quality and fair financing.

Keywords: Universal Coverage, Mexico

JEL Classification: I18

Suggested Citation

Frenk, Julio and Gómez-Dantés, Octavio and Knaul, Felicia, The Democratization of Health in Mexico: Financial Innovations for Universal Coverage (Mayo 25, 2009). Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2009;87(7): 485-564. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2046326

Julio Frenk

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ( email )

P.O. Box 23350
Seattle, WA 98102
United States

Octavio Gómez-Dantés

Government of Mexico - Center for Health Systems Research ( email )

Mexico

Felicia Knaul (Contact Author)

Mexican Health Foundation ( email )

Periférico sur 4809, El Arenal Tepepan, Tlalpan
El Arenal Tepepan, Tlalpan
Mexico, D.F., 14610
Mexico
(52) 55 56559011 (Phone)
(52) 55 56559082 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://http//www.funsalud.org.mx

Harvard Global Equity Initiative ( email )

FXB Building, Room 632
651 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States
(617) 4327938 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://isites.harvard.edu/icb/icb.do?keyword=k62597&pageid=icb.page268594

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