Treating congenital heart disease with high tech procedures in an unequal country

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Mexico is a country with many inequalities, which are very notable, amongst other things, in high tech healthcare. Congenital heart diseases require in average $5,000 USD per child for a surgical treatment. Given that our average per capita income is quite low, only as few as 10% of the population can afford such healthcare, and even though 98% of the population have some sort of social security service, these are saturated, and patients may have to wait up to two years to be able to have surgery. And more so, over two million people have no access to medical services. So, we must turn to social enterprises and nonprofit associations to be able to cope with this problem, and still are left with many patients without proper care. There are several areas within the country that do not have extracorporeal pump machines for open heart surgery, so they must perform surgeries without them, such as corpectomy or pulmonary banding, some of which are palliative surgeries. Many of the patients we attend arrive relatively late, considering their state. For example, we operate tetralogies of Fallot after two years of age, or anomalous pulmonary venous connections after three months.

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