- The elimination of Seguro Popular to create Insabi was one of the most controversial decisions of the current sexennium.
- The drug procurement process has also been changed and could be one of the reasons for the current shortage faced by some public hospitals.
- Another of the challenges for Mexico is digital health regulation.
The field of health in Mexico has always been surrounded by challenges, but recently the situation has become more complicated. The current federal administration has made substantial changes to critical aspects of the national health care system that have been surrounded by criticism. Some of the consequences already observed are the authorization and provision of medicines, as well as the provision of services.
About, Juan Luis Serrano Leets, partner in the Life Sciences practice area of Sánchez Devanny, mentions that the first of these adjustments occurred during the acquisition of drugs. Medical supplies were no longer purchased from distributors and purchased directly from manufacturers through competitive bidding or direct sales.
Previously, distributors were responsible for supply hospitals and warehouses, as well as collect payment from the public sector for these purchase contracts.
In turn, the acquisition process was split into two. Some products could be obtained directly from the manufacturer and others through a contract with the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS). This office coordinates the bidding process to increase the number of participants and approaches companies that did not operate in Mexico, but could offer their products to the Mexican government.
After four years in office, the objective has not been achieved because more than 90% of the products were purchased from companies with sanitary records in Mexico.
More Mexican Health Challenges: From Seguro Popular to Insabi
Another significant change has occurred in service delivery. The government eliminated Seguro Popular, which funded all public institutions in the National health system create the Institute of Health for Welfare (Insabi), a completely different body, which manages the existing health services.
This caused daily delays in patient care because the reorganization was unclear. The only way to achieve transparency is through regulations or laws that let the user know what benefits they are entitled to, which is not the case.
The challenges faced by Cofepris
In the case of drug supply, the institution in charge of regulating the process, the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (Cofepris), has also undergone personnel changes, which has considerably delayed the approval of drugs. in the country.
In addition to this, various requests have been filed by patients, seeking access to health supplies approved by Cofepris or by foreign regulators. In these cases, the judiciary has made conflicting statements about the human right to health and the ability of the state to provide any approved medicine to patients in the public health system.
Ideally, Cofepris should approve drugs or devices that prove to be safe and effective in the most agile and least bureaucratic way possible, going through the greatest checks authorized by law to correct any situation that could create a risk for health. In an ideal scenario, the authority would be efficient and quick in approvals, maintaining continuous communication with industry, patient associations and other important stakeholders.
The proposal for the reform of the General Health Law is also relevant in order to include bases for regulating digital health. To date, emerging technologies are not regulated and therefore they can generate health risks when they are integrated into the system without knowing what standards they must comply with. In addition, it could happen that the authority regulates this sector and forces companies to withdraw their products from the market.
Other jurisdictions are developing advanced regulations at the same pace as innovation is introduced to the market. It is essential that the regulator recognizes the existence of new technologies, which can be of great benefit to society, assesses how they are regulated in other jurisdictions and provides certainty both to the company selling them and to the supplier. Services.
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