Mexico has a real need for primary care; however, access to health services is the indicator that has grown the most in INEGI surveys, which has helped to combat poverty and extreme poverty, said Secretary of Health José Narro on Thursday in his opening presentation at the third edition of Mexico Health Summit, held at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel in Mexico City.
During his presentation, Narro reviewed the country’s achievements in health over the last decades, as well as the main challenges from the new health scenario facing the country: the rise in chronic noncommunicable diseases, one of the major threats in Mexico represented mainly by three pathologies: obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. He pointed out, however, that since 1980 communicable diseases have declined 85 percent.
Narro suggested that demographic changes will continue to have a profound impact on the country. “From 1950 to today, Mexico has multiplied its population by five. Today, we have 10 times more people over 65 years than in 1950,” he said. This means that in 2050, there will be 17.2 million people over 70 years old, which in turn will lead to challenges such as the appearance of chronic degenerative diseases. “Public policy needs to consider demographic changes and its impact on health,” he added.
According to Narro, Mexico faces several challenges. “We were late to diagnose the diabetes threat,” he acknowledged before offering some figures. “We have 130,000 annual deaths caused by cardiovascular disease and we have not been able to stop and prevent breast cancer,” he said. He defined geriatric health as “a growing threat,” since Mexico has few hospital beds and few certified specialists. “We have to advance in prevention and timely diagnosis,” Narro concluded.