A study by the Center for Economic and Budgetary Research (CIEP), presented to the Working Group for Tax Transition, in the Chamber of Deputies, warns that the saturation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic abandoned and complicated the health of thousands of citizens with chronic illnesses.
In the observation and proposal of the CIEP for the redirection of spending and fiscal policy, it is indicated that “as an indirect effect of the pandemic, during 2020 out-of-pocket spending increased and pre-existing health services decreased.”
“In Mexico, household out-of-pocket spending increased 40 percent overall and consultations for seven diseases (communicable, chronic, oral health, mental health, family planning, healthy people and others) fell by 48.6 percent, which which meant 42.2 million fewer queries than in 2019 ”, he says.
It is noted that “out-of-pocket spending, which is the expense that families allocate directly to meet different health care needs, went from 2,358 pesos in 2018 to 3,299 in 2020.”
“In the three expenses that make up out-of-pocket spending –expenditure on primary care, hospital care and medicines–, the highest percentage increase was in drug spending, which increased 68 percent, going from 376 pesos in 2018 to 632 pesos in 2020 ”, he adds.
Regarding “first time” inquiries, he warns that “they fell 45.1 percent, from 34.5 million in 2019 to 18.9 million in 2020, and” subsequent inquiries “fell 51 percent, from 52.3 million in 2019 to 25.6 million in 2020 ″.
On the other hand, “gestational quarterly pregnancy and adolescent pregnancy consultations” decreased 37.2 percent and 35.4 percent, respectively ”.
“As a result, the 9.1 percent increase in the 2020 budget compared to 2019 did not seek care for diseases other than COVID-19 or financial protection for people, as 5 million more people had to pay for medicines. and consultations ”, he emphasizes.
He insists that “the ability to maintain pre-existing health services could represent a major challenge in the Mexican health system, due to its budget gap, its physical and human capacity indicators, which are below the average of the countries of the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) since, in 2020, additional resources for health represented a tenth of what was required ”.