Getting it Right

Strategic Priorities for Mexico

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Mexico has been a reform champion, having launched ambitious reforms in a broad range of areas. While the reforms are showing first positive effects they are not delivering to the extent they could. On many dimensions of well-being, including education, health and security amongst others, Mexico still lags behind the OECD average and regional development remains very uneven. While Mexico has done a lot to build a competitive economy, progress has been too slow in two complementary areas, namely strengthening institutions and fostering inclusion. The capacity of the public sector is weak, corruption remains widespread and the rule of law is week, all hindering trust in government institutions and the effective implementation of policies. Similarly, persistent inequalities and widespread poverty do not only mean that higher growth does not translate into widespread gains in well-being; these inequalities are also holding back growth as Mexico is not using all available talent. Mexico has taken measures to tackle these issues, but important implementation gaps remain. It will be important for the next government to build on past reform efforts, ensuring the full and effective implementation of already legislated changes to allow for reform continuity and to launch additional reforms in several priority areas, including the rule of law, education and social protection. Only then will Mexico be able to deliver a higher quality of life for all its people.

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Moving towards a high-quality health system

Mexico has made significant progress on health in recent years. Life expectancy is up, infant mortality is down and, thanks to the introduction of the programme Seguro Popular, health care coverage has risen dramatically. Yet, progress has been slower in Mexico than in other OECD countries. For this reason, Mexico still remains well below OECD averages on a number of key performance indicators, including life expectancy, health spending, cardiovascular mortality and obesity. Low health care spending and high outof- pocket costs lead to inequalities in access to quality services and have impeded progress. The fragmentation of the health system also must be addressed in order to harmonise performance across sub-systems and states, and enhance its overall level. Obesity is a significant and growing public health problem in Mexico, resulting in high rates of diabetes and cardiovascular death. In order to deliver on the objectives set out for equality of care in the 2012 Pact for Mexico, significant reforms are necessary, including raising health spending in low-spending areas and on prevention, ensuring greater equality of care through a more harmonised system and expanded services, particularly in rural areas.

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