Mexico Fails to Guarantee Health Rights: CMDHBy Rodrigo Brugada | Fri, 07/02/2021 - 11:30
The Mexican Human Rights Commission (CMDH) President, René Bolio, pointed out that the Mexican government is infringing social rights in the healthcare sector due to the fact that coverage in health services has decreased in the last five years, according to figures from the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL). Currently, almost 22 percent of Mexicans do not have access to health services.
It should be clarified that the CMDH is a civil society organization not affiliated with the National Human Rights Commission, which is an autonomous constitutional body, and René Bolio is a former PAN senator.
In an interview with Milenio, Bolio mentioned that the disappearance of Seguro Popular and INSABI’s poor success have caused a setback in human rights, such as the right to health. Bolio claimed that the right to health was doubly violated due to the loss of jobs and the subsequent loss of health coverage, often linked to employment, caused by the pandemic.
The blame, however, does not lie exclusively with INSABI as the lack of coverage mentioned in the CONEVAL document began to rise in 2015, when Seguro Popular was still operating. The regulatory changes that transformed Seguro Popular into INSABI were not implemented until 2019. INSABI began operations last year. That said, the institute's first year of operation was a tortuous one. This was due in part to the health emergency and largely due to the lack of proper operations. For example, the Superior Audit of the Federation cited multiple irregularities in the institute's operation.
Due to the increase in this social deprivation, Bolio claimed that as these social rights are being infringed by the state, they should be on the agenda of civil society organizations and government agencies in charge of monitoring human rights. He also mentioned that the National Human Rights Commission has not taken into account the situation, which represents an explicit violation of human rights.
This interview occurs amid multiple parties have expressed dissatisfaction with INSABI due to a sustained irregularity in the acquisition of medicines and supplies. This discontent boiled over regarding the supply of cancer drugs, leading to several protests by parents of children with cancer. The conflict escalated after the Undersecretary of Health Hugo Lopez-Gatell linked protests to a coup, which led many to qualify the system as "inefficient and corrupt."
The president of the CMDH mentioned that the issue is not to bash the government but to ensure that there are health services, as established in the Constitution, the General Health Law and the Federal budget. The state must guarantee that there are medicines and supplies for all Mexicans, he added.