While health is a universal health right in Mexico, in reality many people do not have access to healthcare. The country has a public healthcare system which is supported be contributions from employers, but this system is oversaturated and unable to take care of all its patients. On the other hand, the private healthcare sector, with its more than 3,000 private hospitals and more than 34,000 beds could be of great help to handle the public sector’s burden. However, the high prices of services in the private sector are often prohibitive for many Mexicans.
Mexico’s private care is the most expensive in Latin America, with costs that are over 40% of the region´s average. These high prices have also raised the costs of health insurance making it inaccessible to most Mexicans who have to pay out of pocket for most medical costs. Expensive procedures also generate mistrust as patients often find themselves billed for overcharged services and, in some cases, unnecessary procedures.
Even so, some programs are being created to validate medical costs and avoid overcharge. As Carlos Gutiérrez, Corporate Director of Material Resources at ABC Medical Center, says “private medicine is getting more expensive and we need more participation from the industry players to deliver the expected quality and to stay focused on the industry objectives.”