· As he headed an event in Tepic, Nayarit, the president announced the beginning of a major effort to incorporate more than 8 million beneficiaries of the PROSPERA and “65 and over” programs into the Popular Insurance Scheme.

· Prospera coverage only includes 27 diseases whereas the Popular Insurance Scheme covers over 287 diseases, in addition to providing free drugs and medical care through the health sector, he explained.

· Between 2012 and 2014, another 3.5 million Mexicans obtained access to health care, in other words, the indicator improved by 14 per cent.

After stating that the government is determined to ensure the right to health for all Mexicans, President Enrique Peña Nieto today announced the major effort being made by his administration to enroll more than eight million beneficiaries of the PROSPERA and "65 and over" programs in the Popular Insurance Program.

"This will allow us will narrow the gap and ensure that more than eight million Mexicans enjoy the benefit of having access to the health services provided by the Popular Insurance Scheme,” he said.

The president explained that the government has warned that among the 25 million beneficiaries of the PROSPERA Program, “There is a population of more than four and a half million Mexicans who are not enrolled in the Popular Insurance Scheme, despite being entitled to it.” He added that it will now be possible to reach this population "so that they are properly enrolled in the Popular Insurance Scheme.”

He also stated that many senior citizens are unaware they are eligible to enroll in the Popular Insurance Scheme, which is why it has set itself the goal of affiliating them. They are in the order of 3.5 million people, “And we have already reached nearly a million.”

President Peña Nieto said that the importance of incorporating a significant number of Mexicans into the Popular Insurance Scheme is to “enable them to have access to care and health benefits in a larger number of diseases.”

For those who have PROSPERA, he said, “Coverage only includes approximately 27 diseases; those in the Popular Insurance Scheme have a coverage of over 287 diseases. They have access to free drugs and medical care provided by the health sector of our country.”

He therefore urged those already enrolled in the Popular Insurance Scheme to invite their relatives to join. “As part of this campaign, we will try and locate them so that they enroll,” he said.

The president announced that between 2012 and 2014, another 3.5 million Mexicans obtained access to health care, in other words, the indicator improved by 14 per cent. This means that 3.5 million people overcame this shortcoming: with figures dropping from 25.3 to 21.8 million.

 “But we are not satisfied and we want to expand and focus our efforts on ensuring that all Mexicans know they have the right to be treated at one of the government’s health institutions,” he said.

He said that one of their members has a disease, “Families often have to sell off their assets, and sometimes everything, in order to get medical treatment.”

He stressed the government’s interest in alleviating poverty and ensuring equal opportunities for the development, growth and fulfillment of all Mexicans.

On his arrival at the event, held at the Auditorium of the People, which has a capacity of over 15,000, President Peña Nieto unexpectedly walked up to the top of the stands to greet many of the audience.

HEALTH MOVES MEXICO AND WITH HEALTH, MEXICO CAN CONTINUE ADVANCING: JOSÉ NARRO ROBLES

Health Secretary José Narro Robles emphasized the coordination between the Social Development Secretariat, the IMSS, the ISSSTE and the Health Secretariat to advance the incorporation of the beneficiaries of the PROSPERA and Pensions for those ages 65 and Over into the Popular Insurance Scheme.

"This event, Mr. President, it is a sign that your instructions are being carried out, but above all, that we are making major strides in the field of health,” he said.

He reported that in the three and a half years of President Peña Nieto’s government, more than 280 million vaccines have been given, involving an investment of over 20 billion pesos, which, he said, has helped maintain health and eradicate certain diseases. “There has been an enormous amount of social mobilization,” he said.

Moreover, a large number of deworming treatments and vitamins have been given to children, and over 80 million sachets of oral rehydration salts have been distributed.

“Health moves Mexico and with health, Mexico can continue to advance,” he concluded.

NEVER AGAIN WILL A SENIOR CITIZEN OR A WOMAN HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT NOT HAVING A DOCTOR OR MEDICINES: MEADE KURIBREÑA

Social Development Secretary José Antonio Meade said that today, PROSPERA families’ access to the Popular Insurance Scheme has been strengthened, since it will affiliate all its beneficiaries. "No woman, or female head of family in PROSPERA will ever have to worry about not having a doctor or medicine or a clinic,” he said.

"Today President Peña Nieto is making a team and supporting the efforts of millions of women who are leaders in their communities and are transforming their families’ lives,” he said.

He said that, “No senior citizen will ever have to worry about the lack of medicine or a doctor or a clinic.” Never again will a senior citizen have to worry about the lack health services, he said.

He announced that this year, nearly half a million seniors are working to obtain their elementary or middle school certificates thanks to the Certification Program proposed by the president, while thousands of women heads of families are completing their elementary and middle school education, which, “Will open the doors to new adventures and opportunities.”

He added that one in five Mexicans feel close to the support of PROSPERA, a program that provides prenatal care, good nutrition, health, Liconsa milk and community kitchens, and an insurance that guarantees the education of the children of female heads of household, in addition to financial, productive and labor support and as from today, the Popular Insurance Scheme.

FEDERAL WORKS AND PROGRAMS HAVE CHANGED NAYARIT: GOVERNOR SANDOVAL CASTAÑEDA

state governor Roberto Sandoval Castañeda thanked President Enrique Peña Nieto for the benefits of federal programs that have reached El Nayar, the entire Sierra of Nayarit, and the whole state, as well as the works promoted by the government, “Which have transformed the capital and the 20 municipalities in our great State of Nayarit.”

He said, for example, that thanks to the president’s negotiations in Portugal, “Costa Canuba, a new development of the Riviera Nayarit exists, which will provide thousands of jobs.”

Likewise, among other works supported by the president, he said that, “Bahía Banderas will have a large Social Security Hospital, which we really need, as a result of a 1.2 billion peso investment.”

PRESIDENT EPN PLEDGED TO GROW THE PROSPERA PROGRAM, AND HE DID: BENEFICIARY

Florencia Azucena Martínez Esparza, the mother of three children and a beneficiary of the PROSPERA Social Inclusion Program, thanked President Enrique Peña Nieto, “For all the support and benefits he has provided for us through PROSPERA and the Popular Insurance Scheme and asked him, “To continue supporting those most in need.”

She recalled that in 2012, “He promised to grow and strengthen PROSPERA. And I realized that the president achieved this. He promised to do so and he kept his word.”

In her case, she said that in 2013, the PROSPERA employees arrived to take a survey. They told me to enroll, but I thought I wouldn’t be included. Time went by and they rang to say I had been incorporated into the Program. A few days later, some people came for me to sign papers and join the big PROSPERA family.”

Then, she added, “I realized the president had kept his promise.”

She said that she was, “Very glad to be in the program, especially because the support meant a great boost for all families and for the present and future of our children.”