Thursday, November 30, 2023

“Social Mexico under Review”, what the official figures do not say

The Civil Association, Signos Vitales, made up of high-profile researchers and experts, conducted an analysis of what dissolution of various institutionsas well as the effects that the poor government attention to the COVID pandemicwhere the main consequences are: increasing social gaps and programs that benefit the poorest the most; a broken health system, lack of vaccination and high mortality; distance from education and weakness in science, technology and research.

There is a false victory. Figures and official discourse contradict the truth of the evidence.

According to the document “Social Mexico is under scrutiny“The following data shows:

· The failure of Mexico’s health management is reflected in the excessive number of deaths. There were 793,625 more deaths than expected between the start of the pandemic in 2020 and September 2022 (more than 39.15%), which places Mexico among the countries with the most deaths due to the pandemic and its consequences.

· The number of people no access Health services reached 50.3 million in 2022 (39.1% of the population), 30 million more people compared to what was reported in 2018.

· The poor management of the pandemic left severe learning loss of students: loss of up to 1.5 years of learning from 2019 to 2021 after school closures. Disadvantages in reading and mathematics are more profound for the youngest children (under ten years of age) and the poorest. The biggest loss is at the upper secondary level, with a decrease of -72 and -51 percentage points in “language and communication” and “mathematics” between the Planea-INEE and Planea-Ibero applications. SEP does not implement remedial programs like other parts of the world.

· There is a mirage about poverty reduction. On the one hand, Coneval reports a decrease of 5.6 percentage points in 2022 compared to 2018, but the famous researchers of UNAM report that the decrease is almost zero when the figures are compared to the previous ones.

· In 2022, 2 out of every 3 natives will be in poverty (65.2%). The two disabilities with the highest incidence are access to social security (75%) and access to basic housing services (58%). In addition, 56.9% of that population stopped accessing health services in 2022.

· In 2022, the government transferred more money to social programs to people in the richest households. Decile X (the population with the highest income) receives $886 pesos per month on average per person. The population of Decile I (poorest) receives 224 pesos per month.

· The government policy dismantles the scientific apparatus and the new administrative changes compromise the science, technology and innovation of the country. The budget allocated to Conacyt has been decreasing since 2016. The amount allocated for 2023 has been reduced by a quarter of what it was at the beginning of this six-year term.

· The president’s narrative shows a false victory, while the evidence shows the opposite.

In the last part of this administration, at Signos Vitales we consider a social review of Mexico necessary, because the promise of a government that is more and better with fewer resources is contrary to the evidence. There are still many deficiencies and in general the results are contrary to expectations, affecting the quality of life of millions of Mexicans in the short, medium and long term, despite some achievements such as the increase of the minimum wage.

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The breakdown of institutions and the effects of poor management of the health crisis have gathered many challenges to face. The challenge is widening and the hope for a better Mexico is far from over. Here are some more data presented in our report.

· Located in the most unequal region of the world from an economic point of view, Mexico occupies the fifth place with the greatest inequality among 77 countries.

· In the poorest population (quintiles I and II) in the north of the country, 62% of people born below the poverty line remain poor throughout their lives; while in the southern part of the country it rises to 85% who are born poor and remain poor throughout their lives.

· The Human Development Index (HDI) has worsened worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of Mexico, in a period of 29 years, the HDI increased by 0.115 points to reach 0.777 in 2018, but this progress decreased and even regressed in 2019 and 2020. In 2021 it decreased further, reaching the 2012 level (0.756).

· The social lag deepened from 2015 to 2020 for almost all federal entities. The five entities with the greatest social backwardness: Chiapas, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Veracruz and Puebla. The five entities with the least social backwardness: Nuevo León, Coahuila, Mexico City, Aguascalientes and Colima.

· Although the absolute total amount allocated to social programs is a historical maximum in 2022 with 1.3 trillion pesos, compared to GDP, the growth is almost 0.7% compared to 2018. This cost representing only 4.7% of GDP in 2022. About 17.2 trillion pesos (million) have been spent on federal programs and actions since 2008 and poverty has not decreased.

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· The impact of social programs on poverty reduction in 2022 is only 0.9 pp greater than that achieved in 2018, despite the fact that spending on such programs increased by 56.3% in 2018-2020, and another 40% in 2020-2022.

· Only 26% of the poorest students in the country received the “Benito Juárez for Basic Education” scholarship and 7% of the “Benito Juárez for Higher Secondary Education” scholarship. In 2018, more than half of the poorest households benefited from Prospera.

· There is regressivity in social programs: In 2018, people living in poverty (Decile I) received 23% of the total social programs, a percentage that was reduced by more than half in reaching 10 % in 2020 and 9% in 2022 according to END 2022.

· Among the risks that can be found in books for Basic Education are that: 1) they reduce the systematic teaching of mathematical thinking, 2) there are wrong concepts and organization, 3) their preparation is described in lack of transparency, 4) performance. do not consider the delays deepened by the pandemic, 5) in the material for teachers, ideological reflections prevail to the detriment of didactic instructions. The right of children and adolescents to quality education is put at risk, due to the uncertainty of the scope of study programs.

· Among indigenous peoples and communities, there is a gap in education. Illiteracy affects girls (35.6%) more than boys (17.8%), and it increases the risk of girls dropping out of school around 10 and 11 years old. As a result, the schooling of girls under 15 years of age who speak the native language barely reaches 5.8 grades, while boys reach 6.7 grades in school on average.

· For the third year in a row, there was a decrease of 2.5% in enrollment in upper secondary education and 0.5% in higher education. Men are more affected (-3.8% in the upper half and -4.1% in the upper half) than women (-1.2% in the upper half).

· By 2022, 41.2% of the population with disabilities will be in poverty. The most severe deficiencies in this population group are access to health services (44.8%) and access to social security (41.1%).

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· The number of migrant arrests in Mexico increased from approximately 8,500 in January 2019 to 13,500 in January 2020. In 2021, the North American border patrol detained nearly 100,000 migrants. In November 2022, 206,239 arrests were recorded at the border between Mexico and the United States.

· Government policy dismantles scientific equipment and new administrative changes compromise science, technology and innovation in the country. The unilateral practices imposed by the management of Conacyt (Conahcyt) limit the capacity of the sector, weaken the scientific system and disconnect research centers from universities and the productive sector. They also put past achievements at risk, limit the participation of young people in academia, threaten access to the benefits of Science, Technology and Research and hinder the dissemination of knowledge, especially for women, men and youth.

· In 2022, Mexico will be among the first five countries with the lowest health spending per person, with an average of $626 per person. Hence the deterioration of attention to the health needs of individuals and the population as a whole.

· Despite the Government’s declared fight against poverty, in 2018 only 10% did not have access to health. In 2020 it increased to 23.1%, and in 2022 it reached 39.1% of the population. Dismantling the health system to provide the failed Insabi and from there to IMSS-Bienestar is a clear example of the failure of the government, which cannot guarantee access to health for the 54% of the population that is not’ y rights.

· Regarding the breakdown of the health sector: In 2019, more than 71 million consultations at the first level were attended, while in 2022 there will be almost 42 million. For their part, the hospitalization units served more than 17 million in 2019, while in 2022 there will be more than 9 million.

· Job insecurity exists among public and private sector health workers. 20.5% of doctors working in the private sector have income below or up to 2 minimum wages, 21.3% lack a written contract, 27.8% lack social benefits, and 43.9% lack medical insurance. These percentages are lower for the 104,055 doctors working in the public sector: 17.1% have an income below two minimum wages, 4.1% lack a written contract, 12.1% lack social benefits and 11.3% lack in health insurance.

Nation World News Desk
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