About 10 years ago Mexico’s healthcare system experienced a radical transformation. With the creation of the “System of Social Protection in Health” Mexico set in motion a process to provide universal access to healthcare for the entire country. Prior to implementing the System of Social Protection in Health, access to care was largely restricted to those who were employed by federal, state, and local government, the military or private industry. Mexicans that fell outside of these groups were able to access care but the out-of-pocket costs required to pay for services was prohibitive.
It took 9 years to implement the System of Social Protection in Health… and in 2012 the final phase was implemented- providing health insurance to the 53 million previously uninsured Mexicans. Many Mexicans believe that Seguro Popular was the greatest achievement of the System of Social Protection in Health. In addition to providing financial security for the program itself- Seguro Popular guarantees Mexicans participating in this public insurance program have access to a comprehensive and affordable health care services.
Institutions that provided social and health care services prior to 2003 for private citizens, government employees, Mexican Petroleum workers (PEMEX), and the military remain in place today and work alongside Seguro Popular. For example, Mexican Institute of Social Security (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social provides insurance coverage for employees in the private sector and their families. National petroleum workers receive coverage through Mexican Petroleum (Petróleos Mexicanos or PEMEX).
Workers in the public sector get their health care through the Institute of Security and Social Services for State Workers (Instituto de Seguridad y Servicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado), and those serving in the military get healthcare through their respective military agency- Secretariat of National Defense ( Secretaria de la Defensa Nacional or SEDENA), and Secretariat of Navy (Secretaria de Marinaor SEMAR).
“access to care was largely restricted to those who were employed by federal, state, and local government, the military or private industry”