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News Article

Patient Associations Call for Better Care for Chronic Diseases

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 10/28/2021 - 13:18

The Network for Comprehensive Attention to Chronic Diseases, made up by 16 civil society organizations, exhorted the Chamber of Deputies to prioritize chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) to reduce their prevalence and incidence in Mexico.

NCDs are among the main causes of morbidity and mortality in Mexico, according to INEGI’s data from 2021. Six out of 10 deaths in the country are attributed to NCDs. “What is most concerning is that these keep compromising the quality of life of patients in a noticeable way,” explained David Kersenobich, Director General of the National Institute of Health Sciences and Nutrition Salvador Zubirán (INCMNSZ), to MBN.

Because of their chronic label, medical attention for these diseases has failed to be effective, added Kersenobich. But patients are working to break that paradigm, forming groups and associations such as the Network for Comprehensive Attention to Chronic Diseases to demand a patient-centric attention for different diseases. Among the diseases represented in the network are Alzheimer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, different types of cancer, heart disease, respiratory diseases, Crohn and CUCI and rare diseases.

On their petition to the Chamber of Deputies, the network highlighted that “it is concerning that despite the facts on NCDs, the 2022 Federal Expenditure Budget (PEF) is not addressing the country's epidemiological transition, when chronic diseases are the ones that exert the greatest pressure on the health system public.”

Back in September, Rogelio Ramírez de la O, Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) said that Mexico’s healthcare system will have a MX$800 billion (US$40 billion) guaranteed budget in 2022 to face the COVID-19 pandemic. According to CIEP’s researcher Alejandra Llanos, this budget destined for the purchase of medicines, separating the resources that will be allocated to vaccines for COVID-19, is suffering a 3.1 percent decrease compared to the previous year."

Considering this scenario, the network urged the Chamber of Deputies to:

  1. Guarantee universal access through early diagnosis, management and comprehensive care of these diseases.
  2. Make sure that health spending is not under-used.
  3. Guarantee the governance, transparency and accountability of the system.
  4. Ensure that the per capita expenditure per patient is maintained or increased steadily and does not suffer a real decrease.
  5. Implement quality indicators that measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the system.
  6. Promote participation mechanisms so that the patient's voice is heard.

Additionally, the network urged authorities to comply with their promise to make healthcare a priority.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst