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AMLO cuts & Jocotepec Hospital

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AMLO is making tremendous budget cuts and staffing cutbacks all over Mexico. There was a report on Facebook, that someone could not find anyone there to ask about a knee replacement. So they visited in person and were told by an English speaking employee, that the phones were down because of non payment, they had no medicine at all, the lab was shutdown, all surgeries are cancelled except for emergencies. I asked my Dra. about this, she said there is a lot of turmoil right now but that a lot of it was removing corrupt officials from Seguro Popular and IMSS.

I would like to know if anyone has visited Jocotepec hospital recently?

If you can read this article, it is a real eye opener. It is the complete opposite of what most people on the conservative side when they think of socialism.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/lopez-obradors-cost-cutting-spree-is-transforming-mexico--and-drawing-blowback-from-bureaucrats/2019/07/14/5e187b5e-66c2-11e9-a698-2a8f808c9cfb_story.html?utm_term=.eb46c879c704

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37 minutes ago, CHILLIN said:

AMLO is making tremendous budget cuts and staffing cutbacks all over Mexico. There was a report on Facebook, that someone could not find anyone there to ask about a knee replacement. So they visited in person and were told by an English speaking employee, that the phones were down because of non payment, they had no medicine at all, the lab was shutdown, all surgeries are cancelled except for emergencies. I asked my Dra. about this, she said there is a lot of turmoil right now but that a lot of it was removing corrupt officials from Seguro Popular and IMSS.

I would like to know if anyone has visited Jocotepec hospital recently?

If you can read this article, it is a real eye opener. It is the complete opposite of what most people on the conservative side when they think of socialism.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/lopez-obradors-cost-cutting-spree-is-transforming-mexico--and-drawing-blowback-from-bureaucrats/2019/07/14/5e187b5e-66c2-11e9-a698-2a8f808c9cfb_story.html?utm_term=.eb46c879c704

cannot read this unless you subscribe. 

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Hmmm, I guess there could mean significant cuts in the work place!!! I wonder what the magic formula is for sorting out the bad apples??

I asked my Dra. about this, she said there is a lot of turmoil right now but that a lot of it was removing corrupt officials from Seguro Popular and IMSS.

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Maybe time to sign up for the "Go Fund Me" policy. I hear the premiums are cheap and it must be a good policy since I see a former Playboy centerfold is getting ready to collect.

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30 minutes ago, gringohombre said:

cannot read this unless you subscribe. 

 

López Obrador’s cost-cutting spree is transforming Mexico — and drawing blowback from bureaucrats
 
Mexican Air Force technicians work on a six-year-old Defense Ministry helicopter that’s part of a giant sell-off of government aircraft and vehicles by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. (Mexican government)
By Mary Beth Sheridan July 14
MEXICO CITY —  First to go was the presidential plane. 

Next came the sell-off of ­official helicopters and bulletproof vans. 

Then the assault on Mexico’s “golden bureaucracy” really took off. Out went the chauffeur-driven cars. Gone was the private health insurance.

In just 7 1 / 2 months, Mexico’s leftist president has achieved the kind of cost-cutting revolution that conservatives in Washington can only dream of. Thousands of federal jobs have been eliminated. Overseas travel has been slashed. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador even refused to shell out the money last month to fly to the Group of 20 summit.

“We can’t have a rich government in a poor country,” he says.


But what started as a popular attack on official privilege has increasingly generated chaos.

Judges are rebelling over salary cuts. Public hospitals have canceled surgeries. Forest fires have blazed out of control, for want of more firefighters.

The cost-cutting is perhaps the clearest sign yet of the radical vision of López Obrador, who won election last year promising a “fourth transformation” of Mexico — a shift on the order of the 1910-17 revolution.

He’s no Hugo Chávez, the late Venezuelan leader who said capitalism “leads us straight to hell.” López Obrador backs free trade and promises a balanced budget. But he is determined to reorient Mexico’s government, slashing bureaucratic expenses so he can funnel money to other areas, including new programs for the poor.

 
López Obrador waves to the crowd during a rally in Tijuana on June 8. (Eduardo Verdugo/AP)
It’s a vision that goes well beyond fiscal austerity, said Lorenzo Meyer, a prominent historian here.

“The whole idea of Mexico is different,” said Meyer, who supports the president.


López Obrador, who took office in December 2018, still enjoys approval ratings above 60 percent. But his budget crusade has revealed a tendency to centralize power, worrying some in this country that lived through decades of authoritarian rule.

And the Mexican government, never famous for efficiency, risks becoming dysfunctional, analysts warn.

“The bureaucracy is not yet collapsing, but it’s in lousy shape,” said former foreign minister Jorge Castañeda, a critic of López Obrador. “Because there’s no one there.”

[López Obrador consolidates power in state, local elections]

From the start, López Obrador cut a starkly different figure from his predecessor. Enrique Peña Nieto was so stylish that the famed Beverly Hills boutique Bijan designed a wristwatch in his honor. But his term was stained by scandal, including his wife’s purchase of a $7 million mansion from a government contractor.

AMLO promises radical change as he's sworn in as Mexico's new president
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was sworn in as Mexican president Dec. 1, promising a radical change in a country struggling with violence, poverty and corruption. (Reuters)
After the rumpled López Obrador won the presidency, he invited journalists to peek into his bedroom closet. There were just eight suits. He’s been mocked for his scuffed shoes. He’s turned the grounds of the presidential palace into a public park, and he flies economy, slogging through airport lines with all the other poor schleps.


He’s auctioning off dozens of government airplanes, helicopters and vans, in a sort of garage sale of privilege. Several of the aircraft were tied to scandals — such as the helicopter that whisked a senior official to his country house in 2015.

That kind of abuse was common in a country once run by a Spanish colonial elite and later subject to 71 years of one-party rule. The saying among Mexican politicians: “To live outside the government budget is to live in error.”

López Obrador is determined to end that.

People look inside a 2007 Lamborghini Murcielago, which was sold at auction by the Institute to Return the Stolen to the People, the new name for a branch of the Finance Ministry charged with selling property seized from purported drug dealers and tax cheats, as well as government goods that are no longer in use. (Claudio Cruz/AP)
 
People hold up their numbers during a practice run before the start of the auction. (Claudio Cruz/AP)
He slashed his own salary by around 60 percent, to the equivalent of $5,600 a month. And it was more than a symbolic gesture: His party passed legislation to ensure that federal employees didn’t earn more than the president. The platoons of aides that once swarmed around senior officials have vanished.

López Obrador’s party, which holds a majority in the National Congress, has thrown itself into the austerity campaign with a fervor that would have impressed a medieval Franciscan. The lower house has whacked 3,000 of its 7,400 jobs, said Mario Delgado, the ruling-party leader.

“We haven’t spent any money on paper,” Delgado said. That’s because workers discovered 17 storage closets filled with paper, he said — a sign that someone might have been getting kickbacks in exchange for buying way too many office supplies.

This month, Mexico’s Senate followed the lower house in approving a bill that would cement many of the cost-cutting measures into law. 


“People got used to wasting government resources,” Delgado said. “Now we need to get used to an austere state.”

But the goal, he said, isn’t to shrink Mexico’s $300 billion federal budget — it’s to redirect spending toward other priorities. More investment will go to Pemex, the national oil giant. López Obrador has launched ­major programs to provide jobs and scholarships for young people and boost pensions for the elderly.

So far, López Obrador says, he’s saved more than $6 billion in government purchases and more than $500 million from canceling bureaucrats’ private health insurance and savings plans. 

[Mexico’s president just says no to U.S. cash to fight drug crime]

Meyer, the historian, said the plan reflects López Obrador’s desire to change the very relationship between the government and the people. He recalled a conversation he had in the early 2000s with López Obrador, then the mayor of Mexico City.

It’s hard to change institutions in a few years, the mayor said, in Meyer’s telling. But López Obrador promised that, when he left office, the poor would see the government as theirs.

That’s a cultural change of historic proportions, Meyer said. 

Of course, it has its costs. Meyer’s 35-year-old son, Roman, serves in López Obrador’s cabinet as minister of agrarian and urban development. He lives with his wife and son in a 1,000-square-foot apartment. He rides his bike to the presidential office.

Roman Meyer said his ministry has cut about a third of its personnel.

The austerity “forces us to be more creative in redesigning administrative processes,” he said, cheerfully. He works 16 hours a day.

His father is stunned at how small his son’s staff is. 

The situation, he said, is ­“absurd.”

For Jaime Nieto, director of the government-owned children’s hospital in Mexico City, the breaking point came in late May. Already, the doctor had suspended overtime, dismissed dozens of contract workers and cut back on tests for sick patients. His own salary had shrunk by 40 percent. 

Now, he learned, he’d have to cancel half of all operations requiring anesthesia.

“I’ve worked 40 years at this hospital,” said the white-coated doctor, sitting in an office that was dustier than usual, due to a new hole in the janitorial budget. “I’ve never lived such a stressful, worrying situation.”

Around the country, hospitals revolted. The head of the social security system quit, saying the controls on health spending were “inhumane.” 

Within days, the government relented, freeing up some funding. Nieto didn’t have to drastically reduce surgeries after all. But he still lacks money for nurses and maintenance.

Meanwhile, the hospital’s Internet capacity has been slashed in half.

“Everything is still uncertain,” the doctor said.

[He promised ‘hugs, not bullets.’ Now Mexico’s AMLO is facing an outcry over soaring violence.]

One of the most startling cutbacks has been in international travel. Government employees were informed in early May that they needed permission from the president’s office before taking any trip abroad.

About two weeks later, López Obrador boasted that he’d gotten 100 requests— “and I only authorized 20.”

Among those denied: Maria Novaro, director of Mexico’s national film institute. She was attending the Cannes Film Festival when she got the word. She promptly flew home from France. 

The order sparked panic at the government-funded Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education in Ensenada, 65 miles south of the U.S. border. Researchers there were used to getting academic journals at a post office box in San Diego. Worried they would need presidential authorization for their twice-a-week mail runs, they hired a private courier service.

The regulation was later eased. Still, the international travel budget for federal workers was cut by 50 percent.

More than 3,000 scientists and academics have signed a letter to López Obrador protesting drastic cutbacks at government research centers. In some offices, energy-saving measures are so severe that employees aren’t allowed to charge their cellphones.

“This feels like the dismantling of a scientific network that took decades to build,” said Juan Martinez, a biologist at the Institute of Ecology.

But if the scientists reflect one vision of Mexico — a country with a growing middle class and world-class researchers — López Obrador is focused on another. He recently defended the austerity program, reminding journalists that the indigenous Tarahumara in the north were lucky to have a teacher with more than a sixth-grade education.

“I want with all my soul — and this is why we’re taking these measures — for poor children to eat before they go to school,” he said. “This is equality.”

The government says some of the criticism of its efforts is exaggerated. For example, some of the institutions protesting the cuts — such as the hospital system — have had financial problems for years. 

RJNX74U4HYI6THWUZEEJS4VNLI.jpg
López Obrador at a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City. (Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images)

Viridiana Rios, a Mexican political scientist, said the fundamental problem isn’t that the government is wasteful, but that it lacks resources. Mexico’s rate of tax collection is among the lowest in Latin America — and López Obrador has promised not to raise taxes.

“We are a country that has always benefited the wealthy. The result is a tiny, skinny state,” said Rios, a visiting professor at Harvard.

“López Obrador’s motto is that you can’t have a rich government in a poor country,” she added. “What I say is that you can’t have a rich country without a functioning government.”

 

 

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Draining the swamp isn't easy no matter where the swamp is located. Good for him for trying and if some worthy programs get hurt, it's just part of the process which is never clean and easy to accomplish.

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Thank you Alan for posting this. This is important information for everyone. I actually found the article to be quite inspiring.

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Cutting support to hospitals....I guess like cutting off gas pipelines. Unintended consequences? When will they ever learn.

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5 hours ago, CHILLIN said:

AMLO is making tremendous budget cuts and staffing cutbacks all over Mexico. There was a report on Facebook, that someone could not find anyone there to ask about a knee replacement. So they visited in person and were told by an English speaking employee, that the phones were down because of non payment, they had no medicine at all, the lab was shutdown, all surgeries are cancelled except for emergencies. I asked my Dra. about this, she said there is a lot of turmoil right now but that a lot of it was removing corrupt officials from Seguro Popular and IMSS.

I would like to know if anyone has visited Jocotepec hospital recently?

If you can read this article, it is a real eye opener. It is the complete opposite of what most people on the conservative side when they think of socialism.

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/lopez-obradors-cost-cutting-spree-is-transforming-mexico--and-drawing-blowback-from-bureaucrats/2019/07/14/5e187b5e-66c2-11e9-a698-2a8f808c9cfb_story.html?utm_term=.eb46c879c704

Yes, I went along with a friend,taking another,very sick friend to the so called Joco hospital yesterday,wasted

several miserable hours, got no help for the friend, who is a member of seguro popular , his original contract

and the required 4 copies were presented. If i have an emergency i would want to be taken anywhere but

there, i had no sense of anyone caring about the patient, only paperwork,they did finally ,at least to pretend

to take an xray althugh it was never shown to me or to the patient if it exists. They presented an order

that would have supposedly allowed the patient to be looked over at an emergency room in Guadalajara

The patient however,had become a non believer after suffering incredible pain in the hallways for hours

Enough said. If I myself had to depend only on public hospitals or clinics here, i would be on my way back

N O B to the U.S.A where in my home state,any human who is sick and in pain gets treatment, no matter

thier race color or creed, that is the State of Texas.

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Sounds like government medicine everywhere.  Government in Mexico is a nest of corruption and ineptitude down to the most basic levels which is why, for example, that road "reconstruction" of Chapala highway is already falling apart, why you can build anything you want in this municpio after you "grease" the right people in Chapala and so on.  You would think that some of us could look at CFE and Pemex, let alone SP or IMSS (both disintegrating) and figure this one out.  But no.

One of the most recent examples reported on in Mexico News Daily

Quote

 

Notimex missing 4 million pesos, has 330 unidentified personnel on the payroll
Published on Friday, July 19, 2019
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The head of Mexico’s state news agency today accused its union leader of corruption and nepotism, charging that he embezzled government funds and placed family members on the agency’s payroll.

Speaking at the presidential press conference, Notimex director Sanjuana Martínez said the union led by Conrado García Velasco was like a “brotherhood” or “mafia.”

The whereabouts of more than 4 million pesos the union received from the government between 2015 and 2017 and which should have been distributed among Notimex employees is unknown, she said.

 

Martínez said that a review of Notimex’s payroll detected the presence of 330 people who don’t actually work at the agency.

She also said that García’s wife, three children, two brothers, a nephew, an uncle and two alleged lovers of the union leader were on the payroll...

Throwing good money into black holes will result in nothing but larger black holes.  Citing a source known for fake news and one sided drivel isn't going to change the reality in front of your faces.  Only giving up the denial will do that.  As long as people try to use government for things that are done far better by the private market you will continue to see stories like this.

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7 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

"Sounds like government medicine everywhere "

What a load that is, the U.S.A. is the only wealthy, industrialized country that does not have a government managed health care system. Those countries who have it value this service, and consider the access to affordable, high quality services to be a right of its population. Also the argument that the private sector can do better - what about rapacious greed of the drug companies, pushing opoids which have caused 200,000 deaths since 1996. Or the huge price differences between Canada and the U.S. for insulin? Sure Medicare and Medicaid are a start, but they are on the chopping block. The Chief Executive has he campaigned on nullifying the deficit with 8 years. He has warned his aides that severe cuts are coming over the next 4 years if he is re elected.

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Sorry for your experience Shoderone. I would recommend, at this time at least, if you need first class emergency care or procedures on Seguro Popular, to attend General Hospital Occidente in Guadalajara, not the Civil.

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27 minutes ago, CHILLIN said:

Sorry for your experience Shoderone. I would recommend, at this time at least, if you need first class emergency care or procedures on Seguro Popular, to attend General Hospital Occidente in Guadalajara, not the Civil.

Can you please explain the difference....it is a SP Hospital?? and location please... many times the emergency care patients are left on a gurney in the corridor

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55 minutes ago, CHILLIN said:

What a load that is, the U.S.A. is the only wealthy, industrialized country that does not have a government managed health care system. Those countries who have it value this service, and consider the access to affordable, high quality services to be a right of its population. Also the argument that the private sector can do better - what about rapacious greed of the drug companies, pushing opoids which have caused 200,000 deaths since 1996. Or the huge price differences between Canada and the U.S. for insulin? Sure Medicare and Medicaid are a start, but they are on the chopping block. The Chief Executive has he campaigned on nullifying the deficit with 8 years. He has warned his aides that severe cuts are coming over the next 4 years if he is re elected.

Good thing you are down here so you don't have to experience government health care where you came from.  :)

 

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41 minutes ago, lakeside7 said:

Can you please explain the difference....it is a SP Hospital?? and location please... many times the emergency care patients are left on a gurney in the corridor

It is a general hospital which accepts Seguro Popular insurance. It is in Zapopan, on Zoquipan, it is more commonly known as Zoquipan hospital. My cardio doctor, Dr. Hector Briseño, told me it was a good hospital, and that was my experience. The people that work there are very dedicated, and most of the doctors, interns and many of the nurses speak English, but like everywhere here, appreciate efforts to learn the language. They have gone through their doubling in size stage. Now it is Civil's turn, already beginning construction on a 6 year project. I was confused about Civil because Ms. Chillin told me that Playboy lady fund me group said she was being charged $175 day for care and her linens. It turns out this for a private person to provide 24/7 care and translation.

I don't know what else to say except keep yourself healthy, and try to avoid hospitals from the richest to the poorest. They are all places which involve illness, death, and tears.

Oh yes, I forgot to add that emergency is a triage based system, it you have the misfortune to arrive just after a school bus load of kids drives off a cliff, you are in for a long wait. Or you join in and help, that is what Ms. Chillin does, she always ends up with more friends than she had going in. And she speaks way less Spanish than I do.

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19 hours ago, schraderone said:

N O B to the U.S.A where in my home state,any human who is sick and in pain gets treatment, no matter

thier race color or creed, that is the State of Texas.

Unfortunately after you leave, your account will be handed over to a collection agency who will hound you into bankruptcy. Texas has some of the most stringent requirements for low-income health aid the the country.

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2 minutes ago, MtnMama said:

Unfortunately after you leave, your account will be handed over to a collection agency who will hound you into bankruptcy. Texas has some of the most stringent requirements for low-income health aid the the country.

Only if you have the means to pay and try not to. They don't waste time trying to get blood out of a turnip. If you have the means to pay they will accept almost any repayment schedule you propose to them. If you have assets and give them the finger...well maybe they will get nasty...and good for them.

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1 hour ago, Mainecoons said:

Good thing you are down here so you don't have to experience government health care where you came from.  :)

 

Coon, I am still in the good ole US of A as you know. Now I know that you like to knock the medical system here every chance you get but I'll share this info with you and all....

 I've had Government Health Care.... Medicare... for 13 years now. My premiums are and have always been $0/month plus Part B. Same GP I've had for 35 years. I just sent him a 'non-emergency message' this morning (Saturday!) through the electronic information system that's in use by many of the Docs and Specialists and Hospitals here. He answered within an hour and set me up with an appointment for next week. A couple of weeks ago I had my annual PSA blood draw. Within an hour I knew the results electronically ... which is always high but stable. Within the day my caring Urologist sends me a message on that same system saying that, unless I have something else to visit about, he recommends that we cancel the appointment and set up another one for next year. No gouging of patients for no good reason with this guy! I responded and they set my appointment for date-certain next year.

I've had the Same hospital system since I moved here in 1974 except it is now 10 times better/more equipped than ever and associated with the University of Colorado Medical System. There are Specialists of all persuasions in town, all accepting my Medicare. My grown 'children' use the same facilities, doctors and specialists through either their employers or Obama-care at a very reasonable cost according to them. 

I could go on and on but you get the drift.... my government health care system is working well for me and my wife and I don't think that we are in the minority. Now I'm not saying that the whole medical and insurance systems don't need some major attention... something that has been needed for a long time but our politicians worry too much about re-election and are beholding to the private entities to do anything about it. Maybe someday, but I'm not holding my breath. 

Anyway, for me it's a good thing I'm "up here". YMMV

 

 

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Great story and thanks for sharing and stay healthy.  My PSA is also always high, for at least 20 years, and my US docs were always trying to get me to get a biopsy. My Mexican urologist said those US docs are hung up about PSA. Had me get an ultrasound instead and said, "You're fine". Glad to hear your doc is not like many of them there.

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1 hour ago, RickS said:

 

Coon, I am still in the good ole US of A as you know. Now I know that you like to knock the medical system here every chance you get but I'll share this info with you and all....

 I've had Government Health Care.... Medicare... for 13 years now. My premiums are and have always been $0/month plus Part B. Same GP I've had for 35 years. I just sent him a 'non-emergency message' this morning (Saturday!) through the electronic information system that's in use by many of the Docs and Specialists and Hospitals here. He answered within an hour and set me up with an appointment for next week. A couple of weeks ago I had my annual PSA blood draw. Within an hour I knew the results electronically ... which is always high but stable. Within the day my caring Urologist sends me a message on that same system saying that, unless I have something else to visit about, he recommends that we cancel the appointment and set up another one for next year. No gouging of patients for no good reason with this guy! I responded and they set my appointment for date-certain next year.

I've had the Same hospital system here since 1974 except it is now 10 times better/more equipped than ever and associated with the University of Colorado Medical System. There are Specialists of all persuasions in town, all accepting my Medicare. My grown 'children' use the same facilities, doctors and specialists through either their employers or Obama-care at a very reasonable cost according to them. 

I could go on and on but you get the drift.... my government health care system is working well for me and I don't think that I am in the minority. Now I'm not saying that the whole medical and insurance systems don't need some major attention... something that has been needed for a long time but our politicians worry too much about re-election and are beholding to the private entities to do anything about it. Maybe someday, but I'm not holding my breath. 

Anyway, for me it's a good thing I'm "up here". 

 

You're either confusing me with Chillin or not paying attention to what I post.  We kept all our Medicare and supplemental coverage and we use it.  My wife had a knee replacement in Fort Worth and it was the absolute best standard of care from start to finish.  She also got 4 stents put in up there, again with superb care.  I had an appendix taken out, again with superb care.  We advise people to NOT drop their U.S. healthcare coverage and we have full Medicare plus supplemental.

You don't seem to understand your insurance is governmental, not your health care providers.  When we use Medicare it is provided by private doctors, not government employees.  SP and IMSS doctors and other employees are government workers.  Don't compare apples and oranges.

Unfortunately, Medicare is a fiscal black hole because of the lack of cost control.  I see no easy way out of this one and I think our children and grandchildren are going to be the bag holders.  There have been repeated tax and fee increases for it but the hole just gets bigger.  That's a topic for another time and place.

Now the topic here is Mexico and my point is a country with such pervasive corruption is not going to be able to run a healthcare system where there is the usual lack of accountability and consequences for incompetence and theft that is true of government employees in general and IMO more so here.  You really can''t find better examples than the ones I cited and the other example I provided shows that no matter how peripheral, like a news agency, everything the government attempts here is rife with fraud and theft.  You may recall the tourism office was disbanded for the same reason.

Mexico News Daily has carried numerous reports of drugs or the funds for them being repeatedly stolen from the public system here, hospitals never finished or falling down because of theft and corruption, and on and on.  By contrast the private system builds and operates some excellent facilities here.

The hard reality of public corruption here  is true from the most basic level right to the top as our own Chapala government amply and continually demonstrates.  

And Chillin your constant sticking U.S. politics into every discussion gets old, particularly coming from a Canadian.  None of us have a clue what the outcome of the next election there will be, let alone here, let alone what might come out of it.  We are much more concerned with Mexico and whether it will ever make any real headway against all this corruption and theft.  Let's remember the last election here totally turned on that issue.

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