The Institute of Health for Well-being (INSABI) was created by the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador after the president decided to shut down the “Seguro Popular“. The INSABI was conceived as an institution devoted to providing and ensuring the provision of health care services, medicines, and other supplies to people with no social security free of charge.
The end of the Institute of Health for Well-being (Insabi) came to fruition. Although in fact, it had already ceded its functions to the IMSS-Benestar organization, on Tuesday, April 25th, the Lower House of Congress approved a reform that includes the official and complete extinction of Insabi.
Proposed by Morena representative Emmanuel Reyes Carmona, the initiative also prohibits the collection of fees for health services and medicines in institutions that care for people without affiliation. In addition, it includes modifications to the General Health Council and proposes the creation of the National Public Health Service.
The proposed changes, according to the statement of reasons for the opinion, are to strengthen the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Health, optimize spending, avoid duplication, and better control the resources allocated to the public health system.
Far from acknowledging that the Insabi did not reach the goal of providing free care and medicines to the population without employment social security, the document indicates that the covid-19 pandemic put on the table the need to reinvent the healthcare model. He considers that, with 43 years of experience, the IMSS-Bienestar is the best option to lead the national policy of universal access to health services.
What will happen to the Insabi?
Once this reform is also approved by the Senate of the Republic and published in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF), all Insabi’s resources, both financial and human, will be transferred to the public body IMSS-Bienestar.
For this purpose, the Ministry of Health will have 180 calendar days to establish the terms, deadlines, and conditions of the transfer, which also includes material resources, real estate, and the rights and obligations of the Insabi.
In turn, the IMSS-Well-being will have 90 calendar days to change the contract of the Health Fund for Well-being. This is the trust that inherited the resources of the Fund for Catastrophic Expenses, a bag of money that was administered by Seguro Popular for high-cost illnesses.
The governing board, the general direction of Insabi, as well as its sessions and powers will be without effect.
And the Insabi workers?
Insabi workers will be transferred to the IMSS-Welfare or the Ministry of Health and their labor rights must be respected “according to the Law, the general working conditions and other applicable regulations.”
The PAN representative, Éctor Jaime Ramírez Barba, criticized that the reform was presented and approved immediately, without dialogue with all the actors involved, despite the fact that it contains errors and centralizes health services.
“This proposal is riddled with errors that, without a doubt, will lead to an increase in pain, suffering, and death for Mexican men and women,” he concluded.