The US health department extended the public health emergency status for COVID-19. The extension will allow US citizens to continue receiving tests, treatments and vaccines for free.
The statement considers that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a public health emergency from Jan. 27, 2020 to date. While daily US cases are lower than in 2022, the country is still suffering from hundreds of COVID-19 related deaths and thousands of daily infections. For that reason, Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, renewed the state of emergency every 90 days since the start of the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 Public Health Emergency remains in effect, and as HHS committed to earlier, we will provide a 60-day notice to states before any possible termination or expiration,” said a spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Department, as reported by CNBC. The state of public health emergency grants the healthcare system greater flexibility and control over how it cares for patients, allowing it to add beds and deploy staff as necessary.
The prevalence of COVID-19 plus the increase of influenza and other respiratory seasonal viruses is concerning health experts in the US, as the country’s healthcare system may suffer from an over-demand, for which there is insufficient infrastructure.
In the last week, Mexico saw the first decrease of COVID-19 active cases since the beginning of the sixth wave of infections. Mexico reported 31,558 new cases and 136 deaths due to COVID-19 during this sixth wave. The country has accumulated over 30,000 new positive cases for the third consecutive week, according to the Minister of Health.
Mexico’s Healthcare Expenditure Shrinks in 2022
During the first 11 months of 2022, Mexico’s public healthcare sector spent only 72.4 percent of its budget, for a total of US$11 billion less than budgeted, according to data from the Ministry of Finance (SCHP), as reported by MBN.
Healthcare spending reached US$32 billion from the US$43 billion budgeted for 2022. This budget aims to cover all public administration agencies, infrastructure investments, equipment maintenance, payroll and other expenses involved in providing health services. "The panorama is that there is an inequality in the medical services for PEMEX, IMSS and ISSSTE personnel versus those offered to the population without social security,” said Judith Senaycen Méndez, Deputy Director of Research, Center for Economic and Budgetary Research (CIEP).