Mexico and Chile promote Telemedicine
27 marzo 2019

The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the Chilean Legislature are both working to promote telemedicine as a means for enhanced rapid-response healthcare and to facilitate drugs access. Germán Martínez, director of IMSS, aims to reduce the number of complaints received by the organization and to “crystallize” the new inclusive health policy developed by the Ministry of Health (SSA). In Chile, meanwhile, the proposal currently under review by the Economy Committee of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies is being pushed by the Executive branch and aims to adopt a system of electronic medical prescriptions through the creation of an Electronic Prescription Center. The Mexico reforms are expected to take shape once public tenders for drugs purchasing get the go-ahead in July 2019, while the initiative in Chile is likely to be approved by the Economy Committee in the coming months.

Under the government of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO), the IMSS is to oversee full-time clinics featuring night shifts, home health care and telemedicine. The measures come amid the president’s push for universal health coverage, lowered drugs costs and more efficient use and allocation of public funds to the SSA. The first of these reforms will be fully implemented during 2021, as announced by the president, while the purchase of medicines will be available via public tenders as of July 2019. Drawing on the funds that are owed to the IMSS by private and public institutions will be fundamental to meeting these objectives.

In Chile, political parties from the opposition and the ruling party are giving their backing to Ruling No. 12,409, which as a result stands a good chance of advancing in the near future. The Electronic Prescription Center that is to be established under this is intended to eliminate the need for advanced electronic signatures to validate prescriptions, and is being backed by government assurances on facilitating access to drugs. This regulation, if passed, and similar to Drugs Law II, would seek to reduce the cost of drugs for the Chilean public.