Sustainability of Universal Health Care in Mexico

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Policy makers and scholars have been brainstorming on the viability of healthcare systems particularly those enhancing universal healthcare.

Economic policies in Mexico tend to focus on economic stability and promoting growth rather than addressing the more pressing issue of inequality income among citizens (Atun et al., 2015).

Income inequality and poverty go hand in hand and the two features significantly impact the Mexican livelihood.

Even so, regional and income inequality have declined over the years with notable wealth and human capital being noted in 2006 (Atun et al., 2015).

Nevertheless, there exist various controversies surrounding economic sustainability in Mexico health care centers. This paper attempts to prolong the debate through the inclusion of a more detailed intellectualization of sustainability in regard to healthcare systems and through exploring the different dimensions of social as well as political sustainability.

In conclusion, the paper argues that legislators when making decisions regarding universal healthcare should sensibly consider social and political issues such as income inequality among their citizens.

Effect of Income Inequality on Universal Health Coverage

Globalization dynamics have brought about heightened concern regarding the increased healthcare expenditure and the possibility of stalling economic growth.

The potential challenges have been compounded with the unequal living standards among Mexicans hence making the implementation of universal health care (UHC) an uphill task (de Andrade et al., 2015).

First, there is the ever-increasing mobility among the citizens and fast transmission of information regarding new prospects for treatment and therapeutic technologies. The result of these has been an increased demand of healthcare services thereby making it hard for the country to realize effective equilibrium between market demand and offers.

Furthermore, the legislators have to put into account the unequal income among its citizens, some who live in dilapidated conditions. It is thus hectic drawing a balance between demands by the increasing population and providing the best health care services to them at a cost that favors all classes of life.

Second, advancement in technology as well as the advent of exorbitant medical technologies including drugs and machines within the healthcare system has been proved to bring about an eye-catching increased expenditure (de Andrade et al., 2015).

The growing expenditure has also been coupled with very minimal means of controlling the costly health care menace.

Mexico has underwent massive health challenges with the nation experiencing increased death rates as a result of injuries more so those associated with violence partly attributed to unequal income.

The deaths have significantly impacted on the economy with the nation losing its skilled man power (Meara et al., 2015).

Nevertheless, the deaths have significantly decreased over the years even though the numbers recorded in previous years are appalling.

Mortality brought about by violence is currently highly intense in a few Mexican regions. Low income is associated with high homicide rates and the situation has been noted to be common in some states like Guerrero, Chihuahua and Durango (Meara et al., 2015).

The situation has significantly contributed to the decreased life expectancy among young men.

Low income levels are associated with petty social conflicts that rock most families thereby leading to injuries. The injuries may be intensive thereby leading to deaths.

Furthermore, low income makes the populace engage in jobs they are not well trained in such as driving thereby resulting in accidents (Meara et al., 2015).

The accidents contribute to low mortality rates thereby slowing down life expectancy in the country.

Government Initiatives Geared towards Eradicating the Challenge

Mexico has worked to solve inequality in income with the citizens endeavoring to ensure that the nation has a strong healthy leadership.

The legislators on the other hand have significantly emphasized on the implementation of evidence-based policies as well as targeting investments in economic health interventions (González-Pier et al., 2016).

The interventions are wide and thorough in nature including the supply of clean water, oral rehydration therapy, prevention of HIV/AIDS through vector control, universal vaccination, and restricted cash transfer in a bid to enhance consistent clinic visits particularly among the deprived populace.

The move is expected to uplift the poorest citizens thereby enabling them to access universal healthcare. The move is also expected to improve living standards and life expectancy in the country.

Furthermore, the measures proved to bring about reduced maternal mortality from a record 88.7 deaths in every one hundred thousand live births in 1995 to 39.0 per one hundred thousand live births in 2014 (Norheim et al., 2015).

Moreover, mortality among children under five years old fell by 63.2% from an initial 41.0 per every one hundred thousand live births in 1995 to 15.5 in 2014 (Norheim et al., 2015).

The statistic reveals the milestone achieved towards corresponding to the MDG goal of 13.7 (Norheim et al., 2015).

The achievement is a great boost towards resolving the health difficulties faced by the low-income earners in the country.

The ministry of Health in Mexico has been working on how to realize Sustainable Development Goal for health (SDG3) which covers the challenges affecting the nation (Frenk, 2015).

Achieving this milestone will help the country get on track thereby converging among the better high-income nations which are performing way better.

Mexico is among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) nation's most of which have solved inequality income issues and are working to realize sustainable universal healthcare (Frenk, 2015).

What is encouraging is that the nation has realized major improvements as regards preventable child health, maternal and newborn as well as substantial achievements in life expectancy in the last thirty years.

In spite of these efforts, Mexico has still lagged behind most nations in the European Union (EU) in various major sectors ranging from relatively high mortality rates to the ever-rising fatal injuries and non-communicable diseases (Wagstaff et al., 2016).

Income inequality can be derived as being the key cause of these challenges as the nation strives to address the medical issues even though with much focus on economic growth.

Nonetheless, it cannot go without mention that a healthy nation breeds healthier economic gains.


Individuals with low incomes generally have less cash to spend on matters affecting their health as they can barely fend for their livelihood.

The people usually have less money to think about themselves thus cannot consider paying a doctor a visit or feed on healthy food.

Furthermore, low-income earners are more prone to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and stroke.

Income inequality continues to be a thorn in the flesh of Mexicans as they seek to attain universal healthcare.

Low-income citizens continue to form the substantial lot of individuals with increased health threats as observed in the higher prevalence of diseases.

Nonetheless, legislators in the country are working to ensure that the situation is resolved to measure up to the SDG3 standards.

Mexico provides evidence that details how low-income workers are more exposed to detrimental health complications.

In a nutshell, Mexican policymakers should prudently consider the social and political issues, especially income inequality, among their citizens when making decisions regarding universal healthcare.


Atun, R., De Andrade, L. O. M., Almeida, G., Cotlear, D., Dmytraczenko, T., Frenz, P., ... & De Paula, J. B. (2015). Health-system reform and universal health coverage in Latin America. The Lancet, 385(9974), 1230-1247.

de Andrade, L. O. M., Pellegrini Filho, A., Solar, O., Rígoli, F., de Salazar, L. M., Serrate, P. C. F., ... & Atun, R. (2015). Social determinants of health, universal health coverage, and sustainable development: case studies from Latin American countries. The Lancet, 385(9975), 1343-1351.

Frenk, J. (2015). Leading the way towards universal health coverage: a call to action. The Lancet, 385(9975), 1352-1358.

González-Pier, E., Barraza-Lloréns, M., Beyeler, N., Jamison, D., Knaul, F., Lozano, R., ... & Sepúlveda, J. (2016). Mexico's path towards the Sustainable Development Goal for health: an assessment of the feasibility of reducing premature mortality by 40% by 2030. The Lancet Global Health, 4(10), e714-e725.

Meara, J. G., Leather, A. J., Hagander, L., Alkire, B. C., Alonso, N., Ameh, E. A., ... & Mérisier, E. D. (2015). Global Surgery 2030: evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare, and economic development. The Lancet, 386(9993), 569-624.

Norheim, O. F., Jha, P., Admasu, K., Godal, T., Hum, R. J., Kruk, M. E., ... & Suraweera, W. (2015). Avoiding 40% of the premature deaths in each country, 2010–30: review of national mortality trends to help quantify the UN Sustainable Development Goal for health. The Lancet, 385(9964), 239-252.

Wagstaff, A., Cotlear, D., Eozenou, P. H. V., & Buisman, L. R. (2016). Measuring progress towards universal health coverage: with an application to 24 developing countries. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 32(1), 147-189.

October 13, 2023

Health Life

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