Zoe Robledo, General Director, Mexico Social Security Institute (IMSS), met with Mexican representatives from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the UN to continue advancing the government’s goal of making healthcare a universal right in the country.
The integration of the national healthcare system is about more than the number of hospitals or first level units in the country; it involves more complex processes that must be reviewed by international figures to determine how effective the efforts are being, said Robledo during the meeting. The event was attended virtually by IMSS authorities and representatives from the Organizations of Deconcentrated Administrative Operation (OOAD) and the High Specialty Medical Units (UMAE). In it, Robledo welcomed the new representative of PAHO in Mexico, Miguel Malo Serrano, and the UN Healthcare Systems supervisor, Armando de Negri Filho.
Serrano highlighted the UN’s support of IMSS due to the latter’s role in transforming health access in Mexico. Although challenges stand in the way of maximizing healthcare access in the country, IMSS is well positioned to increase efforts. For this, Serrano pointed to IMSS representatives as “the actors who are in this territory, in the states, and have a fundamental role in supporting, articulating and leading the processes that are under development and will bring improvements to the health and wellbeing of all Mexicans.”
A healthcare system that aims to maximize its impact must be linked to wellbeing by also considering its user’s employment, salaries, living conditions and transportation to guarantee justice and social equality, said Filho. He also recognized IMSS’s “knowledge, organization and historical trajectory, which strongly help us as an element of projection of what can be politics, system and national healthcare service; this will be very important in the process of federalizing services under the new nationally operated system IMSS-Bienestar,” Filho said.
The right to health is a human right guaranteed by the UN as of its foundation in 1948. Mexico incorporated this right into its Constitution in 1983 as the Right to Health Protection. However, systemic inequalities have stopped many accessing these services in the public sector but local and international efforts aim to guarantee this human right for Mexicans across the country.