Mexico City.- Despite the financial problems facing the world, Federal Government will continue investing increasing amounts in people, because they are Mexico’s most valuable asset, declared President Felipe Calderón. He added that during his administration, a total of 768 public works concerning health have been completed for the benefit for approximately 20 million Mexicans.
During his speech at the Commemorative Ceremony of World Health Day, the President said:
“We are going to invest more in hospitals, better medical services and greater health coverage because our aim is to achieve a healthy Mexico, a Mexico where all Mexicans, without exception, not only as regards health but other personal aspects too, will be able to live better.”
He stated that despite the problems affecting public finances, such as the reduction in tax collection due to the decrease in economic activity and the oil price situation, his government has maintained health expenditure. He announced that in 2009 total spending will be 350 billion pesos, nearly 50% more than the amount registered two years ago.
He said that in addition to the 768 public works completed during his administration, 48 billion pesos have been allocated annually to the Popular Insurance Scheme, which will enable states to build their own infrastructure.
“The population that has benefitted from these over 700 works is approximately 20 million Mexicans and in order not to reduce the pace, despite the crisis, in 2009, we will assign over 9.3 billion pesos for public works for hospital infrastructure throughout the country.”
In other words, in five years, the budget for hospital infrastructure in Mexico has increased tenfold, partly as a result of the guidelines established by the World Health Organization for this anniversary and for this year. These include the construction of Safe Hospitals, built to resist earthquakes and other catastrophes suffered in our country.
Accompanied by Health Secretary José Ángel Córdova Villalobos and UNAM Dean José Narro Robles, as well as the Board of Directors of the General Health Council, led by Enrique Ruelas Barajas, President Calderón said that, “We are working hard on health issues because we have a goal.”
A propos of this, President Calderón added:
“The goal is to celebrate the 200 years of Mexico’s independence by achieving Universal Health Coverage by the year 2011, the first year of the new centenary of national life, in other words, doctors, medicine and hospital treatment for any Mexican who needs it, regardless of his or her social or economic condition or place of residence.”
After leading the health award ceremony which included the Eduardo Liceaga Award for Dr. Silvestre Frenk, the President instructed the Health Secretary and the directors of organizations in the sector to redouble their efforts not only through these infrastructure works that must be completed but also to keep Mexico in the vanguard in Latin America, not only as regards safe hospitals but also health coverage.