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President Enrique Pena Nieto: 'Healthcare is Everyone's Right'

The News
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July 2, 2013
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MEXICO CITY – President Enrique Pena Nieto said last week that healthcare is a human right, not just a benefit for those who work, adding that the federal government should therefore promote a universal health care system. At a meeting with representatives of the Mexican Healthcare Foundation in Mexico City’s Polanco neighborhood, Pena Nieto said that the Health Secretariat must be expanded to improve services, ensure that medical coverage is not fragmented and fight saturation in public hospitals.

“We have to create a nationwide universal healthcare system that provides more uniform care and has integrated operations and better coordination between different health care institutions,” Pena Nieto said. Mexico currently has three different state-run healthcare systems – the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), which provides insurance for employees working in the formal economy (roughly two out of every five workers); the Government Employees Social Security Institute (ISSTE), which covers state workers; and the Health Secretariat, which operates clinics that are open to everybody.

The meeting marked the 70th anniversary of Mexico’s healthcare system, which was established in 1943. According to Pena Nieto, healthcare has played a major role in the national agenda since then. “Though there have been significant advances on this issue, there are still large sectors of the population that cannot, in fact, exercise their right to health care.”

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