Health budget in the last year of the fourth quarter – El Financiero

Last Friday, September 8, the Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Rogelio Ramírez de la O, submitted to the House of Representatives the latest draft of the Union Expenditure Budget (PEF) of this administration, for discussion, possible amendment and subsequent approval.

This project is of particular importance, because it represents the largest expenditure of President Lopez Obrador’s administration. For 2024, P9.22 billion is expected to be spent, representing a 4.3 percent increase compared to the 2023 approved budget.

The Secretary of the Treasury has identified three priorities under the Emergency Emergency Fund: security, health and education. In the health sector, there will be a real increase of 55,268 million pesos, 5.9 percent more than the amount approved in 2023.

However, in Branch 12 (Health) there is a decrease of 55.8 percent (equivalent to P122 billion). This has sparked unfounded criticism and rumors from certain sectors. This reduction actually refers to the budget previously allocated to INSAPI, which has now been reallocated to the new decentralized public body IMSS-Health Welfare Services (IMSS-B), for a total of P128 billion by 2024.

The previous amount was detailed in Section 47, relating to non-sectoral entities, so it no longer appears in Section 12. The argument about this “alleged” budget reduction in this Secretariat is inaccurate.

According to the Department of Health’s Strategic Well-Being Health Program (DOF 2022), and through the Federal Health Services Strategy through IMSS-B, it is expected to optimize expenditure and avoid duplication. Therefore, health promotion and prevention will be the responsibility of the Secretariat, while medical care will be the responsibility of IMSS-B.

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In this context, PEF 2024, in its Section 12 (Health), expects a 4.8 percent increase in preventive and health promotion measures (vaccination, maternal health, addiction, prevention of chronic diseases, obesity and diabetes, for example). ), denied arguments about potential risks to these programs.

In general, in PEF 2024 there is an increase in the budget allocated to health. The increases are highlighted in the regular IMSS system (mandatory system), at 10 per cent; For ISSSTE, 3.4 percent; 128 billion for OPD IMSS-B; And 21 billion for the IMSS Bienestar program, in addition to the Ministry of Health’s 55 percent reduction for the reasons mentioned.

Throughout this administration, continued growth in the health sector budget has been observed, outpacing previous administrations. However, the goal of increasing the aforementioned budget by one point of GDP has not yet been achieved.

Although there is still a way to go to achieve health spending comparable to that of countries with better economies, there is no reason to predict an economic “disaster” on health in Mexico, especially given the electoral context and increasing polarization.

It is important that we work together to improve the quality of medical care, strengthen primary health care with real and effective community participation, efficiently manage still scarce economic resources, and ask whether health spending in Mexico should be based on 6 key points. GDP, or some other economic measure.

Juan Manuel Lira is a specialist physician and former head of the Medical Care Unit at IMSS.

Twitter: @doclira1

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