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Health and Globalization

at the San Diego-Tijuana


region
Leonel Villa-Caballero, Víctor Manuel
Caballero-Solano
y Olga Alicia Andrade-Barreto
Gac Méd Méx Vol. 144 No. 5, 2008 pp.
389-394
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San Diego-Tijuana region
• Factors Affecting Health-Care
System at the Boarder
1.Social inequality
2.Poverty
3.Unemployment
4.Barriers to health care
5.Lack of medical insurance
6.Minorities discrimination
7.High prevalence of chronic
infirmities
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Epidemiological Similarities
between U.S. and Mexico

 High prevalence of Chronic and
degenerative diseases

1. Hypertension

2. Cardiovascular disease

3. Diabetes

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Health and Globalization ¿Indivisible?


• North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
in 1994

• The United States and Mexico have close


economic ties. The two countries and Canada
have signed the North American Free Trade
Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 with the goal of
eliminating barriers to trade and investment.
Health and Globalization ¿Indivisible?
 U.S. factories have come to Mexico for a brief
period of time, but later gone to other
countries such as China, Vietnam and
Malaysia where hand work is cheaper,
leaving Mexican workers without wages, and
unable to get medical insurance.

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Globalization
¿Indivisible?
• On one hand, in Mexico, in contrast with the
institutionalized medicine, the private medical
practice is limited. It only serves a small
percentage of the general population. On the
other hand, in USA, is exactly the opposite, a
wealth of resources is provided by the private
sector through health insurance plans and the
government trough Medicare and Medicaid only
serves a relative small population.

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Health and Globalization
¿Indivisible?

In the USA, the most advanced


technology is available to its citizens,


but there is a cost associated to it.
Some citizens are unwilling to pay the
price. As a result, they look for cheaper
alternatives, cross the boarder, and get
dental and medical attention in Tijuana.
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Consequently, many health insurance
Health and Globalization
¿Indivisible?
Consequences:
1.Irregular practices by pharmaceutical
companies
2.Adulterated products sales
3.Controlled drugs sales
4.Challenge for Mexican regulatory
agencies
5.Alternative medicine treatments
6.Epidemiological risks associated to a
high volume of boarder crossing
7.
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Health and
Immigration

 Looking forward to a better future,


many venture to the north putting
their lives at risk. If they manage to
survive the boarder crossing, they
will face the reality that they won´t
have health insurance, or any other
benefit, because they have entered
the country illegally.
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Health and Immigration

Consequences:

1.Lack of chronic diseases surveillance


2.Lack of cancer prevention
3.Lack of prenatal care
4.Lack of chronic disease diagnosis
5.
6.

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Looking for Solutions

 Bilateral collaboration
 It requires a comprehensive approach. A
broader vision with many disciplines
involved such as anthropology, sociology,
social psychology, health economy, and
many others to find a suitable solution.

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