A few weeks ago, we received a speaker from the National Institute of Public Health. This institute exists on both a state and federal level in Mexico. Their mission is to provide information to the public so they are able to make better health decisions. To work toward this mission the National Institute of Public Health works in schools, with women and children, as well as doing community work.
One topic Sandra spoke about that was very interesting to me was the complexity of the health care system in Mexico. I was able to see this complexity reflected when we visited Amatlan earlier in the semester. This rural area often does not have doctors on site and patients must travel a long distance during a medical emergency. Also, the doctors that are present in this community may be lacking in culturally competency which is important when working with this community . Another piece of the Mexican health care system that I believe greatly impacts this community is the use of natural medicine. Although alternative and traditional types of medicine are widely used, especially in communities like Amatlan, they are not covered by health insurance.
What I also found interesting was to learn about the different levels of care that impact access to medical services. Many people who work in the informal economy here in México cannot receive medical attention because they lack even the most basic form of medical insurance provided by the government, Seguro Popular. I believe this relates to Amatlan, because there are many people who live off the informal economy there. However, there is health care for individuals who work within the formal sector such as IMSS, ISSS and IEST. This type of insurance gives these individuals better access to health services such as doctors and hospitals.
I have learned many things about the National Institute of Public Health and access to health care throughout this semester. I was able to reflect upon the many issues that affect rural Mexico. Also, I was able to reflect upon the different levels of medical care that are in Mexico, and how this medical care is different for people who work in the informal and informal economy.
Do you believe there are differences between the healthcare provided within rural areas and urban areas in the United States? If so what are they? How do you think they affect people who live in these areas?
Alyssa Biddle (student)