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Mexico to have universal healthcare by year's end: minister

11-07-2011 14:43 BJT

by Maja Wallengren

MEXICO CITY, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- All Mexicans will have access to healthcare by December, more than six months ahead of the schedule, Health Minister Salomon Chertorivski told Xinhua Friday.

The creation of universal healthcare in the Latin American country is part of the President Felipe Calderon's plan for "massive investment" in healthcare, Chertorivski said in one of the first interviews given to foreign press after taking office in September.

"President Calderon instructed us to move as fast and efficient as possible," Chertorivski said.

By the year's end, "every single Mexican will have access to medical care, and more than 106 million Mexicans will be receiving health care through public financing," he said.

Chertorivski said the government is investing over 3.5 percent of the GDP, or 32 billion U.S. dollars, in the public health sector in the fiscal year 2011, of which 30 percent is used exclusively for medicines given free of charge.

Of the total budget, 13 billion dollars are spent on the "Popular Insurance" which was introduced by Calderon's government as a means to help establish universal health care across Mexico's 31 states and one federal district.

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