Mexico's health insurance covers 10.3 million people

14:55, January 05, 2010      

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Mexico has improved its government-funded health insurance to cover 10.3 million people, or almost one in every 10, by the end of 2009, the Mexican president said Monday.

The health insurance scheme, created in 2003 with an envisaged goal of universal coverage by 2012, covers treatment of 80 percent of the diseases that are most common in Mexico.

President Felipe Calderon said that every child born after his inauguration in 2006 now has health insurance.

The president made the remark while inaugurating a new hospital in southern Mexico.

Calderon said that budget spending on public health had increased to 52 billion pesos (4 billion U.S. dollars) in 2009, up from 18 billion pesos (1.3 billion dollars) in 2006 when he took office.

Mexico now has two major public health insurance systems - the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the Institute of Social Services and Security for Civil Servants (ISSSTE).

The IMSS, created in 1943, attends to private-sector, formal, salaried workers and their families; the ISSSTE covers government employees and their families.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimated in 2004 that the IMSS covers approximately 40 percent of the Mexican population, while the ISSSTE covers 7 percent of the population.

By 2005, the Mexican government funded 45.5 percent of the country's health-care spending. Meanwhile, private insurers funded around 4 percent.

No figures were available for the current situation.

Source: Xinhua
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