AMLO and the health maze

President Lopez Obrador It seems to be increasingly aware that its legacy will be anchored in the performance achieved in the face of the challenges imposed by the pandemic and the lags that our health system exhibits. Perhaps he already understood that the goodness of his assistance programs can be compared to the impact of 600 thousand families marked with the death of one of their own by Covid, or of someone else who has entered a hospital alive and left by his own foot. dead.

“I no longer want to hear any more pretexts about the shortage of medicines,” said the president last Wednesday in Colima, in a clear scolding of the heads of Health, Jorge Alcocer, and the Insabi, Juan Ferrer. What must be ringing in the presidential ears is the failure of the entire strategy of his administration in this field – not just in medicine.

López Obrador has encountered this problem since the weeks after his electoral victory in 2018. “I am clear about what I should do on many issues, but not on health; agree on a program ”, the President insisted unsuccessfully in several meetings in front of interlocutors such as Germán Martínez, who would be director of the IMSS; Asa Cristina Laurell, who would occupy an undersecretary of Health (both eventually defenestrated); Carlos Urzua or Rachel Buenrostro, who would end up vying for power in the Treasury —and also removed from their posts. In case it was necessary, then Hugo López-Gatell, the pathetic “Doctor Death”, emerged.

Half of the current administration has already passed and that program does not appear on the horizon. The pandemic it did nothing but increase the problems and decrease the resources to face them. Everything indicates that the outlook will only worsen in the immediate future.

If López Obrador’s tiredness in the face of Secretary Alcocer’s passivity and Ferrer’s incompetence (not to mention López-Gatell’s corrupt megalomania) is sincere, the only real alternative will be to look to a solution that has always been there, but that receives continuous shrapnel from multiple flanks of the so-called fourth transformation: the Mexican Institute of Social Security.

From the Mayor’s Office of the TreasuryAt that time in charge of Buenrostro, the Institute’s drug purchasing system, which had accumulated decades of experience, was dismantled. There are indications that this is beginning to be reversed and that the organism that leads will be used Zoé Robledo as the hub of a new system. It couldn’t happen at a worse time: López Obrador’s claim could act on pharmaceutical companies like blood on sharks by causing more speculation and higher prices on patent medicines.

The emergence, in January 2020, of the Institute of Health for Wellbeing, and the appointment of Juan Ferrer to the front – two of the worst decisions made by López Obrador – canceled the possibility that his tasks were carried out by him. IMSS by multiplying the segment of IMSS Bienestar clinics, as it was already designed. To this was added the regression that supposed to cancel the Popular Insurance, so that the foundations of the current disaster were laid.

Someone should explain to the President that the drug shortage is the product of inexperience, clumsiness, and even corruption of an important number of its collaborators. But also, that it is a symptom of a greater evil: the lack of a universal health system. López Obrador promised it, and we have never been further from fulfilling that purpose.

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