Mexico's Health Dilemma: The Gap in Preventive Care
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Mexico's Health Dilemma: The Gap in Preventive Care

Photo by:   Arek Socha, Pixabay
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Anmol Motwani By Anmol Motwani | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Wed, 09/20/2023 - 09:25

Preventive healthcare involves the promotion of healthy lifestyles to deter the onset of chronic illnesses, the foremost contributors of mortality and long-term health challenges worldwide. In Mexico, diabetes stands as the primary cause of death, shedding light on a significant opportunity to generate substantial savings for the purpose of reinvesting in proactive health initiatives.

The challenges posed by a growing population, climate change and increasing pollution levels have firmly established preventive healthcare as a cornerstone of public health. Indira Chakravarty, Specialist in Hygiene and Public Health, emphasizes that preventive healthcare is the foremost strategy for maintaining health, with curative measures becoming secondary once diseases have already taken hold.

In Mexico, statistics on diabetes-related fatalities between 2017 and 2020 reveal that in 2020, out of 452,924 deaths, 148,437 were linked to diabetes, equating to a rate of 177 per 100,000 inhabitants. This represents a substantial increase compared to the annual average of 101,496 deaths (125 per 100,000 inhabitants) reported from 2017 to 2019. In effect, in 2020 there was a notable 41.6% surge in diabetes-related mortality compared to the average documented from 2017 to 2019.

Despite the staggering data, preventive healthcare is not a top priority in Mexico, as it places a significant burden on both private and public healthcare sectors. Moreover, the Mexican healthcare system continues to face significant challenges, such as unequal access, insufficient allocation of resources and health insurance, Martin Cruz, CEO, Kelrón told Mexico Business News. Consequently, Mexican patients typically seek healthcare services only when a disease has already progressed to a stage of complications, observes Jaime Fragoso, Director of Laboratorio Medico Polanco Processing Centers.

Retail clinics like Farmacias Similares have garnered significant favor among the Mexican population due to their ability to deliver healthcare services to individuals who lack access to public health insurance, reports LA Times. They achieve this by providing cost-effective clinics in conjunction with their pharmacies. To tackle this issue effectively, it is crucial to explore novel strategies, such as increased investment in primary care, embracing an omnichannel approach and focusing on enhancing patient adherence to medical recommendations.

"Helping individuals attain and sustain their health and well-being must be approached as a collaborative effort," emphasizes David Fairchild, Senior VP, CVS Health. Given the increasing utilization of telemedicine services and digital healthcare solutions, it is vital to make substantial investments in primary healthcare providers, he added.

Historically, providers have been at the forefront of preventive care, and with enhanced tools and incentives, they can have an even more significant impact. Health applications should prioritize assisting patients in initiating and adhering to their medication regimens by offering regular reminders. Furthermore, professionals underscores the necessity of being adaptable and willing to offer in-person visits, especially in regions with underdeveloped health technology infrastructure.

Despite the challenges within preventive healthcare in Mexico, there has been an upsurge of companies offering preventive healthcare services, such as Aidicare, Doc24, and Grupo Diagnóstico Aries (GDA).

Photo by:   Arek Socha, Pixabay

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