INEGI’s National Survey of Occupation and Employment (ENOE) reports that by 1Q22, six out of every 10 workers in Mexico do not have access to any official health institute. One of the main reasons is the informal economy.
This lack of access to health services affects men and women equally, with 60 percent of Mexican women and 61 percent of Mexican men being unable to access this basic labor right. Lacking an affiliation with IMSS, ISSSTE or major health insurance, over half of the country’s labor force must pay out of pocket for healthcare.
Although workers from all the industries in Mexico suffer from this problem, the most affected workers participate in the housework, agriculture and livestock, retail and manufacturing sectors.
Informality worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although many new jobs have been created during these past few months, the number of informal jobs has reached historical levels. Microbusinesses now employ almost four out of every 10 workers, for about 22.9 million Mexicans. Moreover, two out of every 10 workers do not have a fixed workstation, leaving roughly 12.5 million Mexicans without basic working conditions.
By May 2021, one third of the population did not have access to health care services, as reported by MBN. COVID-19 highlighted gaps in Mexico’s public healthcare system, with out-of-pocket expenses increasing by 40 percent, according to the Economic Investigation Center (CIEP).
The poor affiliation to public healthcare institutions is reducing investment in these services, especially in rural areas where doctors are suffering from insecurity and lack of equipment. Approximately 5,700 health centers across the country have a shortage of medical professionals, as reported by MBN. The main concerns for doctors in rural medical facilities are poor security and lack of equipment. These circumstances cause a feedback loop in which the percentage of informal workers is too high so the public healthcare system does not receive the investments necessary to fulfill the country’s needs, worsening the perception of these services and further reducing investment.