GREATEST HEALTH CONCERNS

The increase of life expectancy due to the control of infectious diseases has brought new concerns such as chronic diseases, common in the elderly population and a group of young people prone to these conditions due to unhealthy lifestyles. According to the Mexican Cardiology Society (SMC), cardiovascular diseases are the main cause of death within the Mexican population, followed by diabetes, with 9.4 percent of the population diagnosed, according to the National Health and Nutrition Survey (ENSANUT 2016). Chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular conditions and cancer and renal deficiency are a priority for citizens and healthcare institutions. Also, issues such as teenage pregnancy, breast feeding, maternal mortality and geriatrics are demanding more attention and more resources. Efforts from the public healthcare system are focused on providing care for these patients once they are diagnosed, which is sucking up most of the shrinking public budget without producing effective results. The new action plan is focused on prevention strategies that could help reduce the rising number of cases, together with the creation of awareness campaigns on the main health issues. The Mexican population lacks discipline in medical checkups. It is culturally known to only visit a doctor when feeling discomfort or pain, which leads to conditions being diagnosed in late stages when very little or nothing can be done to alleviate the condition. This also results in higher costs for health institutions.

This chapter will cover the main health concerns in Mexico explaining what the public and private healthcare players in the sector are doing to solve them.