Medicine manufacturing represents 2.9 percent of Mexico's health sector GDP, according to INEGI’s 2020 health sector report. The institute reports that during 2020 the health sector’s contribution to Mexico’s GDP amounted to MX$1.5 billion (US$73 million), 6.5 percent of the country’s GDP. This represented a growth of 0.9 percentage points compared to 2019’s 5.6 percent.
INEGI’s report on the Satellite Account of the Health Sector in 2020 analyzed 104 economic activities directly or indirectly related to public and private healthcare services. The report also analyzed unpaid household work, preventive treatments, care for handicapped patients and voluntary work through non-profits focused on healthcare. It also showed further trends in the division of healthcare services between the public and private sectors.
Nationally, there is a continuing trend in which healthcare workers are migrating from the public to the private sector. The latter now employs more individuals despite providing health services to less than 3 percent of the population. However, GDP participation tells a different story. The public sector’s participation grew from 2.2 percent of the national GDP in 2019 to 2.5 percent in 2020. The private sector’s participation also grew but only from 2.0 percent to 2.1 percent in between 2019 and 2020. Furthermore, while both sectors saw a growth, the biggest increase occurred in unpaid healthcare work, which grew from 1.5 percent to 1.9 percent, as the pandemic prevented many from attending hospitals and led them to seek health treatments at home, among other alternatives.
Meanwhile, medicine manufacturing made up 2.9 percent of the sector’s GDP in 2020, while the manufacture of healing material represented 1.1 percent. However, the contribution of medicine manufacturing to the sector’s GDP shrank by 0.1 percent from 2019 to 2020, while the contribution of health goods and services has remained constant since 2013.
Contributions from medical offices to the GDP of economic health activities also reduced from 23.8 percent to 22.0 percent as the COVID-19 pandemic largely kept patients away from doctor’s offices. This shift came hand-in-hand with the rise of technological tools such as remote monitoring and platforms through which patients can communicate with doctors for preliminary examinations, a trend which is expected to continue even as the social distancing protocols continue diminishing.
Meanwhile, spending on health laboratory services, ambulances and health residencies grew by 14.5 percent in comparison to 2019, being the largest increase among the different trends measured in the report. This can be explained by the increased spending on health services by Mexican households, which amounted to over MX$1 billion (US$48.7 million). Hospital spending also rose by 4.4 percent from 2019, while expenditure on medicine and other goods fell by 2.0 percent.