Is dementia integrated into or covered by a different national plan (such as a mental health plan)? | Mexico Is dementia integrated into or covered by a different national plan (such as a mental health plan)? | Mexico

12 Jul 2022

In Mexico, the National Development Plan (NDP) is the guiding document of the Federal Government in which they describe the national objectives, strategies, and priorities of the integral and sustainable development of the country. It is prepared during the first semester of the six-year term of each federal government and its validity ends with the corresponding constitutional period.

Given that a large proportion live in poverty and without access to social protection system, the National Development Program PND 2019-2024 includes a program for the Welfare of Older Persons, which is based on providing economic support (US $66.61 by month) to women and men over 68 years. However, to date, neither National Health Sector Programs nor National Old Age Health Care Programs have included dementia. Therefore, at the federal level, the issue of dementia is not placed within the national policy.

While Mexico has not yet ratified its adherence, the Inter-American Convention for the Rights of Older Adults includes in its article 19 ‘Rights to Health’ the promotion of the development of specialised integrated social and health care services for older adults with dependency-generating illnesses, including chronic degenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, and other dementias (Organization of American States, 2015).

While ageing issues and older adults have gained importance and have been positioned at the national level as priorities, no specific government sector or Secretariat is responsible for dementia and there are no specific programs for dementia diagnosis and care.

In the previous government administrations, some institutions or programmes included several related activities within their aims to support older adults, for example:

  • National Gerontology Program 2016-2018 (National Institute for the Elderly, INAPAM) (INAPAM, 2016): which focuses on the implementation of public policies to support the wellbeing of older adults.
  • Program to Support Aging 2013-2018 (Programa de Atención al Envejecimiento) (National Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Programs, CENAPRECE): where the first objective was to establish a culture of living healthy, with a gender perspective among older adults, care for chronic diseases and mental health coverage including the detection and diagnosis of memory alterations. However, we found no data about their degree of implementation nor to inform if these were implemented.
  • Specific Mental Health Action Programme 2013-2018 mentions the need for timely detection of mental or behavioural disorders in adults and older adults.
  • Specific Action Programme Psychiatric care 2013-2018 indicates the need to contribute to the deinstitutionalisation of mental health patients with severe cognitive impairment and abandonment.
  • Specific Action Programme Research for Health 2013-2018 only describes the issue of ageing, putting into context the population pyramid that points at ageing and non-communicable diseases.

INAPAM. (2016). Programa Nacional Gerontólogico 2016-2018.

Organization of American States, O. (2015). Inter-American Convention on Protecting the Human Rights of Older Persons (A-70). http://www.oas.org/en/sla/dil/inter_american_treaties_A-70_human_rights_older_persons_signatories.asp