The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) introduced the Protocols of Integral Attention (PAI) for Chronic Diseases and its complications to train medical professionals in prevention, early detection and diagnosis of these diseases. Between Jan. 2021 and Aug. 2021 heart diseases, diabetes and pulmonary chronic illnesses were three of the 10 main causes of death in Mexico.
“The PAI will provide primary attention. Medical and no-medical professionals will be enrolled in preventive activities: diagnosis, treatment and integral rehabilitation,” said Gabriela Borrayo, Coordinator, IMSS. The PAI was created after years of scientific research to offer quality medical attention to patients affiliated with the institute.
“We are facing a big challenge amid diet changes, lifestyle and healthy habits,” said Célida Duque, Director, IMSS. The National Institute of Cardiology reported a total of 783 deaths from heart diseases between Jan. 2021 and Mar. 2021. In Mexico, 25 percent of the population suffer from hypertension and from those diagnosed about 20 percent lack access to medical treatment, according to INSP. In 2020, 151,019 people died of diabetes mellitus and complications, which represents 14 percent of the total deaths that year. This puts diabetes as the third cause of death after COVID-19 and heart diseases, as reported by INEGI. To address this problem, the PAIs aim to help the sector act efficiently in the prevention and early diagnosis of chronic diseases, said José Halabe, President, Mexico’s National Medicine Academy.
Apart from being a public health problem, chronic illnesses are also an economic burden. In 2010, within South and Central-America, the cost of diabetes represented 9 percent of the total health spending while in North America it was 14 percent. Between 2006 and 2015, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico spent about US$13.54 billion treating diabetes, cardiopathies and cerebrovascular accidents. The Mexican health system spends about MX$35 billion (US$1.75 billion) per year treating cardiac insufficiency and MX$19 billion (US$948 million) treating diabetes. If diabetes and hypertension cases continue to increase, Mexico would have to raise its health expenditure to an average of 6 percent of its GDP, according to PAHO’s forecast.
Chronic diseases also concern the private sector, which relies on technology to help to manage this situation. “Just in 2021, multinational health companies invested US$44 billion in tech. Governments, such as those in Colombia and Brazil, officially recognized tech as an important tool for healthcare,” said Ricardo Moguel, CEO, Clivi, to Mexico Business News.
Despite these efforts from public and private entities, personal actions also play a part in preventing chronic diseases. People must adopt a healthy lifestyle to prevent chronic diseases. “Smoking and sedentarism are the most common causes of chronic diseases,” said Miguel Malo, Representant, PAHO.