Health

They profile López-Gatell as a health czar

The Health Secretary (Ssa) prepares the publication of an agreement to delegate to the undersecretary Hugo Lopez-Gatell new faculties, among them that of presiding over the National Consultative Committee for Standardization of Innovation, Development, Technologies and Information in Health, as well as that of issuing and coordinating the issuance of official norms in the matters competent to that area, both in public institutions and private.

In a draft submitted by Jorge Alcocer Varela, Secretary of Health, for its review to the National Commission for Regulatory Improvement (Conamer) it is indicated that the Undersecretary of Integration and Development of the Health Sector is headless and has not been reoccupied with that title after the presidential decree of austerity of the 23rd of April 2020, in which 10 undersecretaries were canceled, including this one.

The National Consultative Committee for Standardization of Innovation, Development, Technologies and Information in Health is the body responsible for issuing the official Mexican standards to which public, social and private institutions must adhere to the provision of medical care and social assistance services, as well as in terms of infrastructure, equipment and remodeling of all types of establishments for medical care services, training, training and updating of human resources for health and research for health that is carried out in human beings.

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“In order to give continuity to the activities entrusted to the Undersecretary for Integration and Development of the Health Sector, with respect to chairing the National Consultative Committee for Standardization of which it is a part, and issuing and coordinating the issuance of official Mexican standards, I have seen fit issue the following agreement:

“First. The head of the Undersecretariat for Prevention and Health Promotion of this secretariat is delegated the exercise of the powers to chair the National Consultative Committee for the Standardization of Innovation, Development, Technologies and Information in Health, as well as that of issuing and coordinating the issuance of official Mexican standards in matters that are the responsibility of the Undersecretary for Integration and Development of the Health Sector, provided for in articles 8, section V, and 9, section IV bis of the Internal Regulations of the Ministry of Health”.

The preliminary draft indicates that the delegation of powers to López-Gatell does not exclude the possibility of their direct exercise by Secretary Alcocer Varela.

“The person in charge of the Undersecretariat for Prevention and Health Promotion will keep the person in charge of the Ministry of Health permanently informed about the exercise of the powers that are delegated through this agreement.”

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It is detailed that this agreement will enter into force the day after its publication in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF).

“He will be a super-undersecretary”

Specialists consulted assured that with these new tasks, Undersecretary Hugo López-Gatell will become the “Super Undersecretary” not only of Health, but of the entire federal cabinet.

Faced with so many responsibilities, they questioned “at what point does he have the physical and human capacity to attend to all these matters.”

Xavier Tello, surgeon and analyst at health policiesassured that with this new faculty, López-Gatell will concentrate a structure with all the knowledge and all the information on health exclusively for his undersecretary.

“He ends up becoming the undersecretary with the most power and with the most addresses in the entire cabinet (…) He would be a super-undersecretary,” he said.

Adán Navarro, a doctor and specialist in health policies, expressed his doubts about the intentions of the bill, since he pointed out that by giving more power to the undersecretary over official health standards, it could tend to politicize.

He indicated that his performance at the forefront of managing the pandemic left much to be desired.

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