Evaluation of United States and Mexico
The world over, countries are grappling with the need to offer universal medical healthcare to their respective citizens regardless of economic development or form of political orientation. As such, all countries are striving towards coming up with new means with which to address emerging health care challenges which are basically as a result of lifestyle diseases and new disease causing strains such as the H1N1 virus.
In the United States of America, healthcare services are mainly offered various legalized private entities. The private sector own and run most of the health institutions and related facilities within the US borders (Sultz & Young, 2010). However, health insurance cover is mainly provided by the US government through both the private and the public sectors. There are numerous health insurance programs offered by the US government’s public sector (Sultz & Young, 2010).
According to data from the United States Census Bureau in 2009 reported that nearly 17% of persons living in the country were uninsured (Sultz & Young, 2010). The United States has the highest expenditure per individual with relation to healthcare in the world. Thus healthcare in the United States uses a greater percentage of the country’s total income than any other country in the world. The underlying fact to these statistics is the high cost of medical care in the country (Sultz & Young, 2010).
In Mexico, just south of the United States border, healthcare is provided through public institutions, private establishments and qualified private medical practitioners (Homedes & Ugalde, 2006). Healthcare provided through the public institutions is realized through an effective and elaborate system formulated by the federal government of Mexico to provide and deliver healthcare services to the general public. Healthcare services provided by private healthcare establishments and private medical practitioners are available to those who can afford the services in accordance with the free market policy. Public health care establishments under the supervision of the Health Secretariat Agency offers to all Mexican citizens subsidized health care services regardless of their employment status (Homedes & Ugalde, 2006).
The Mexican Constitution guarantees the provision of public healthcare to all citizens of the country as stipulated in article 4 (Homedes & Ugalde, 2006). In public healthcare institutions, the cost of healthcare is free or subsidized by the Federal Government relative to an individual’s employment class. The structure of the Mexican Federal Government’s healthcare system has a system structured to accommodate the various classes of society in the country (Homedes & Ugalde, 2006).
There is also a health care scheme operated under the administration of the Mexican Social Security Institute (Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social) IMSS (Homedes & Ugalde, 2006). Under this scheme employed persons and their respective dependant share the cost of healthcare with the IMSS and the employee’s employer. The health care cost is shared equally among the three. However, it should be noted that the IMSS does not cater for the health care services of state workers (Homedes & Ugalde, 2006).
State workers such as local authority workers, state employees and employees with the federal government have their healthcare needs covered by the Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (Instituto de Seguridad Servicicios Sociales de los Trabajadores del Estado) ISSSTE (Homedes & Ugalde, 2006). This agency caters for employees in the public sector providing health care services as well as social services (Homedes & Ugalde, 2006).
The provision of basic healthcare in Mexico dates back to the late 18th