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News Article

InDRE Sees Budget Cut Despite Increased Demand

By Antonio Gozain | Mon, 12/20/2021 - 18:02

The Institute for Diagnostics and Epidemiological Reference (InDRE), which confirmed the arrival of several SARS-CoV-2 variants to Mexico, will suffer a budget cut in 2022. InDRE will have a MX$15.7-million (US$785,00) budget but the institute needs MX$235 million (US$11.75 million) to operate, reported Milenio.

InDRE is the Ministry of Health division in charge of diagnosis, reference, research and development for epidemiological diseases. InDRE’s facilities, which include biosafety level 3 laboratories located in Mexico City, comply with international standards, such as ISO 9001 and ISO 15189. Originally founded in 1939 as the Health and Tropical Diseases Institute, InDRE has received training and equipment for its laboratories and epidemiological units from the US’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Despite the increased demand that InDRE saw in diagnosis services due to the third wave of COVID-19, it will suffer another budget cut. While InDRE’s budget amounted to MX$112.7 million (US$5.63 million) in 2018, the institute will continue depending on INSABI to finance COVID-19-related expenses. 

“The budgetary resources to attend this excess demand for services cannot be covered with the budget assigned to this unit,” reads the Public Finance and Public Debt Report for 3Q2021, presented to Congress by SHCP and the Ministry of Health. The over-demand for InDRE services is such that it expected to receive 34,984 samples to process until 3Q2021 but due to the third wave of COVID-19 it received 110,991 samples, from which 96,520 were COVID-19-related.

InDRE’s budget has been gradually cut since before the pandemic and constraints continued despite its increasing importance. The institute became a crucial actor to identify both the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and its subsequent variants. InDRE was also vital to certify and authorize the COVID-19 diagnosis tests that private laboratories offer to the public. The 2022 budget contraction is the fourth consecutive cut that InDRE will suffer in the same number of years. In 2019, InDRE’s budget was cut from MX$112.7 million (US$5.63 million) to MX$87.4 million (US$4.37 million). In 2021, when COVID-19 was still one of the most important topics in public discussion, InDRE saw another budget contraction to MX$50.3 million (US$2.42 million).

Some of InDRE’s recent remarkable contributions to public health include viral isolations in cell cultures of Variants of Interest and Variants of Concern of SARS-CoV-2, entomological vigilance of the Chagas disease and collaboration during the Anti-Rabies Mission carried out in Mexico by WHO and PAHO in 2019.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, Milenio, Ministry of Health
Photo by:   PAHO
Antonio Gozain Antonio Gozain Journalist and Industry Analyst