Mexico’s Programa Hospital Seguro was established in 2006 in order to step up efforts to provide safe hospital facilities, making it a cornerstone of the country’s disaster preparedness and response system. Each institution finances its own involvement and implementation of actions, and the total investment to date is more than $1.8 billion. It has guaranteed that 176 new hospitals in Mexico are constructed to ensure that they can function if disaster strikes, as well as improving the safety of hundreds of existing facilities, including primary healthcare clinics.
The programme brings together 19 national institutions and 31 at state level, spanning government, health, academia, science, oil and gas, security, defence and professional associations. It is widely hailed as a milestone for different sectors working together in pursuit of a common goal. It is also seen as a successful example of public-private partnership, given that it involves experts, institutions and shared finance to guarantee that public and private hospitals continue to run as integrated health care networks during disasters. In addition, it has raised the bar for national and regional policy coordination, and for accountability, with assessments even leading to the definitive closure of hospitals that did not meet conditions for safety in the event of a disaster. Other measures have included the refurbishment, improvement and installation of emergency stairways. Beyond the concrete measures taken, the programme has demonstrated that it is possible to uphold a national priority between periods of government, despite overall changes in policy trends and political authorities since it was launched. It has made hospitals into building blocks for community, state and national resilience.
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