President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) announced in his inauguration speech on Saturday, December 1, 2018, that he will work on the implementation of a universal health coverage system for Mexico. Following the guidelines of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), AMLO wants pharmaceutical companies to reduce the costs of their products and thus make the State buy medicines at the lowest possible price. The health plan will enter into full force at the national level within three years, although it has already been implemented at the local level in Veracruz.
The objective of the health plan is to achieve a health infrastructure such as that of Europe or Canada and will begin to be applied at the hospitals and clinics of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS). German Martinez, IMSS’s new director, will be in charge of carrying out state purchases of medicines. AMLO said they will seek to agree prices with drug makers, and gave assurances that the state will invest the necessary resources to guarantee the population’s access to the necessary drugs.
At the same time, the president’s proposal to implement a system of universal health coverage in the country was submitted to popular consultation on November 24 – 25, and to great public support. More than 95% of those consulted backed the idea; Mexico will join countries such as Argentina, Brazil, the United States and Cuba that are already seeking to extend health coverage to all their citizens.