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News Article

IMSS-Bienestar Is Officially Constituted

By Rodrigo Andrade | Thu, 09/01/2022 - 13:51

The Official Journal of the Federation (DOF) reported the creation of the decentralized public agency of Health Services of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS-Bienestar) through an official decree by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Aug. 31, 2022.

According to the decree, IMSS-Bienestar is the next step toward offering universal access to health. “The IMSS-BIENESTAR program has showed its effectiveness, efficiency, quality and warmth and has consolidated through implementing the Comprehensive Healthcare Model (MAIS), which provides free medical care and medicines,” it reads.

IMSS-Bienestar aims to provide medical and hospital care to those not affiliated to any social security institution, while allowing for progressive, effective, timely, quality and non-discriminatory care access to people who meet its requirements. To achieve this, the institution “[will] have the budgetary, material, human, financial and infrastructure resources transferred directly by state governments from their own or freely available resources or from the resources of the contribution fund,” reads the official statement.

The DOF also considers the creation of a Decentralized Public Organization (OPD) that aims to administrate the resources of IMSS-Bienestar. This would be an autonomous organization in charge of its own budget and with an independent legal status, as reported by MBN. The decree specifies that the creation of the OPD is a public policy decision. 

On Aug. 15, 2022, López Obrador said that by next year, there will be quality healthcare for all the people in Mexico. “We hope to have all states (affiliated to IMSS-Bienestar) by the first half of 2023. We want to make it clear, however, that it is voluntary. If a state government does not accept, there is no problem. We are going to continue transferring the resources that correspond to each state by law.” At the moment, 19 states participate in IMSS-Bienestar with approximately 11.6 million affiliates, 20,000 localities and over 1,000 municipalities covered. 

Despite the official decree, there is a lack of clear regulations and limitations around the newly created body. At the moment, the differences between the Institute of Health for Well-Being (INSABI) and IMSS-Bienestar are not explicit. “The problem is that there are now two decentralized bodies, one by decree and the other by the General Health Law,” said David Sánchez Mejía, Partner, Cossío & Sánchez Consulting, in an interview with Animal Político

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Rodrigo Andrade Rodrigo Andrade Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst