Mexico’s Health Care System: Impact on Citizens and Healthcare Professionals


The health care system of Mexico (Mexican Health Care System) comprises public healthcare centers, private healthcare centers, and health insurance companies. Pulg, Pagan, and Wong (2009) state that the health care system of Mexico has 1000 public hospitals and 3000 private hospitals, which have a bed capacity of 75% and 25% respectively. Although the health care system has many hospitals, the citizens continue to experience significant health issues due to the inaccessibility and unaffordability of the health care services. In 2003, Mexico’s health care system adopted universal health insurance in a bid to enhance the accessibility and affordability of healthcare services. The adoption of universal health insurance allowed 50 million citizens to gain insurance coverage and afford healthcare services. Due to the accessibility and affordability of healthcare services, the life expectancy of citizens of Mexico has improved.

Positive Impacts on Citizens

Mexico‘s health care system has a positive impact on the lives of citizens because it offers quality healthcare services. The quality of healthcare services matches those that are available in the United States and Canada. Moreover, the cost of healthcare services in Mexico is 40% cheaper than those in the United States (Gomez, Sesma, Becerril, Knaul, Arreola, & Frenk, 2011). The cheapness of the healthcare services attracts many from the United States to seek treatment in Mexico. In this view, Mexico’s health care system earns foreign exchange from patients who are from the United States, thus supporting its sustainability. Since the healthcare services have been unaffordable and inaccessible, the adoption of universal health insurance has allowed over 50 million citizens to access and afford healthcare services. Thus, the healthcare system of Mexico has a positive impact on the lives of citizens.

Negative Impacts on Citizens

Although Mexico’s health care system has positive impacts on citizens, it has some negative impacts. The inaccessibility of the healthcare services is a negative impact on the health care system because people who live in remote areas are unable to access quality healthcare services that various hospitals provide despite having universal health insurance. Additionally, Mexicans experience the double burden of disease, the communicable and non-communicable diseases (Gomez, Sesma, Becerril, Knaul, Arreola, & Frenk, 2011). The health care system has been unable to handle increasing incidences of communicable and non-communicable diseases. Infectious diseases, malnutrition, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and cardiovascular disorders impose a significant burden on the health care system. Given that 40 million Mexicans live below the poverty line, they are unable to live healthy lifestyles. Moreover, the health care system survives on about 6% of the gross domestic product, which is very low when compared to the health care system of Canada and the United States.

Impacts on Healthcare Professionals

Since the quality of services that the healthcare system provides meets international standards, it implies that healthcare professionals are qualified and competent. According to Pulg, Pagan, and Wong (2009), owing to the quality and affordability of healthcare services, a significant number of patients from the United States seek medical attention from Mexican healthcare centers. Hence, the healthcare system has boosted the professional standing of healthcare professionals in Mexico. However, the advent of universal health insurance hurts healthcare professionals because of the increased workload. Additionally, the resources that government allocates are not enough for the healthcare professionals to provide quality services to patients; hence, reducing their effectiveness.


Gomez, D., Sesma, S., Becerril, M., Knaul, Arreola, & Frenk, J. (2011). The health system of Mexico. Saud Publica Mexico, 53(2), 1-26.

Pulg, A., Pagan, J., & Wong, R. (2009). Assessing quality across care subsystems in Mexico. Journal of Ambulatory Care Management,32(2),123-131.

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