Health Budget For 2022 Increases by US$5 BillionBy Alfonso Núñez | Tue, 11/16/2021 - 16:50
The federal government will increase the health sector’s budget by 15.2 percent for 2022 with a focus on increasing resources to continue combating the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the 2022 Expenditure Budget approved by the Chamber of Deputies last Sunday, the health sector’s budget will be US$38 billion, an over US$5 billion increase from 2021’s budget. While proposing the increased budget, Treasury Secretary Rogelio Ramírez de la O emphasized that the budget will increase the acquisition of vaccines and medicine, free health services and an increase in the workforce of sanitary workers fighting the pandemic.
The reasons for the budget increase consist of increasing resources to better address the continued toll the pandemic is having on the health sector, as well as improving its infrastructure, equipment, staff and medicine. The health sector’s budget will amount to 2.8 percent of the country’s GDP. An additional focus, according to the federal government, will be placed on offering medical attention to the country’s inhabitants who do not have access to medical services through insurance.
Although half of the country’s population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and most Mexican states currently find themselves in “green-light,” the least strict pandemic level for health protocols within the country’s stop light system, health experts are preparing for future waves to continue hitting the country, carrying with them an added economic toll.
Even without the expenses of future waves, the journey towards turning the COVID-19 pandemic into a much more controlled endemic will be costly. This process will consist of the eventual transition of COVID-19 into an expected seasonal disease, to which the public will have to be vaccinated regularly much like the flu. The estimated cost of administering influenza vaccines in the country amounts to US$116 million.
Additional future costs in the health sector include direct effects of the pandemic such as the long-term COVID-19 disease effects on survivor’s respiratory systems and others, many of which are just being investigated by health professionals worldwide. But there are also indirect effects to account for, such as the increased levels of obesity in the population which are likely to continue increasing diabetes levels in the country.
The priority for the health budget throughout 2021 was to increase the creation of medical centers to increase the number of patients who could receive medical attention as COVID-19 waves fill up hospitals nationwide. The 2021 proposed budget of US$33.4 billion saw an increase of US$6 billion from 2020 after the health sector had been seeing budget cuts from 2016 to 2019. The pandemic has caused the federal government to reallocate resources as the health sector became a top priority globally.