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Will a Public-Private Hospital Deal Help Ailing Mexicans? Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Advisor, ft. commentary by Tom Morante and Yani Contreras

Posted Apr 30, 2020

Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Advisor
Published April 28, 2020

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s government is working with private hospitals in order to handle the influx of patients with Covid-19.

Q. Mexico’s government on April 13 announced a partnership in which private hospitals will allocate half of their available beds to the public-sector health system in order to treat patients with health matters unrelated to Covid-19 so that the public health system can focus on treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus. The month-long partnership will last until May 23 and will free up 3,115 beds in public-sector health facilities, the government said. How significant is Mexico’s partnership for the “single national health care system” in the country’s fight against the pandemic? Is the move a step toward universal government-provided health care in Mexico? How would more government involvement in health care in Mexico affect the private health sector and patients?

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A. Thomas Morante, chair of the Insurance Regulatory and Transactional Practice Group, and Yani Contreras, consultant, both at Kaufman, Dolowich & Voluck: “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and the partnership in Mexico between private hospitals and the public health system demonstrates an incredible collaborative effort in the fight against Covid-19. The Ministry of Health reported on March 14 that the public health care system, including hospitals operated by IMSS and Mexican state-owned entities, had approximately 50,000 hospital beds, 2,500 intensive care beds and 9,000 emergency room beds.

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