IMSS-BIENESTAR a new agent joins the fragmented National Health System.

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The IMSS-Wellness program is financed with federal resources from Branch 19: Contributions to Social Security published in the Expenditure Budget of the Federation and are transferred as a subsidy by the Federal Government. In addition, the Program can obtain resources from the signing of agreements or inter-institutional agreements. It is important to highlight that this social solidarity service provided by the institute, as established by the Social Security Law, is provided “without prejudice to the effective granting of the benefits to which workers and other beneficiaries of the compulsory regime are entitled.”

In February, with the public signing of the Agreements between the IMSS and the states of Nayarit and Tlaxcala, the process of federalization of health services was disseminated, which was officially presented on March 15 at a morning conference as the Health Plan for Well-being which sought that by 2024 the health hospitals in charge of the state governments would become IMSS-Wellness hospitals, operated and managed with the guidelines of that IMSS-Wellness Comprehensive Health Care model.

As of May, it was reported that there were already more than 15 states that had signed agreements with the IMSS; however, during the signing of these Agreements, various manifestations of health personnel were raised because they consider that their labor rights are not guaranteed under this model.

According to the general director of the IMSS, Zoé Robledo, the IMSS-BIENESTAR is constituted, unlike the Insabi, as a Decentralized Public Organization (OPD), with its own assets and technical autonomy, which ideally will guarantee the necessary infrastructure and equipment, backed by a qualified staff of health professionals, technicians and auxiliaries capable of reliably meeting the needs of their patients.

“It is the evolution of the IMSS Welfare program now to a public body that may have much more capacity to build the health system, a non-sectorized institution with its own assets and technical autonomy.” Zoe Robledo.

The publication in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) of the Decree with which the decentralized public body called Health Services of the Mexican Institute of Social Security for Welfare (IMSS-BIENESTAR) is created, was carried out, according to the head of the Executive Federal declared during the daily morning conference on August 30: “We want to guarantee the right to health throughout the country in a universal, quality and free way, that this is a challenge, a challenge that we manage to lift the health system public and leave it as one of the best in the world. That is the challenge.”

According to some experts, consulted by Reform, the creation of this body will not solve the problems of universal access to health services.

“There doesn’t seem to be a clear idea of ​​where they want to go, there is no short- and medium-term strategy that defines the objectives or the resources that are going to be used. We continue to remain in the indefiniteness ” Octavio Gómez-Dantés specialist at the Health Systems Research Center of the National Institute of Public Health for Reform

“Services included by level of care are not defined, nor how it would be expected to cover specialty services that lead to higher household out-of-pocket expenses” Judith Méndez, researcher at the Center for Economic and Budgetary Research for Reform

It is worth mentioning that the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) will continue to directly operate the health units and hospitals that the IMSS-Wellness Program has, in the states where it has a presence. Likewise, it cites the Third Transitory of the publication: the workers of the IMSS-Wellness Program will continue to enjoy the rights and benefits that they currently have, contained in the collective bargaining agreement, its regulations and other norms that regulate labor relations in the Mexican Social Security Institute.