Health policy and legislation concerning traditional indigenous medicine in Mexico

Jaime Tomás P. Page About the author

Various Mexican federal and state government agencies dealing with indigenous affairs are trying to establish control over traditional medicine and by recognizing it achieve cost decreases for health care directed towards Indian groups, bolstering it as a first-care level. The result is that the community absorbs the costs of medical care, leading to a reduction in the number of patients seeking government-run health care services. Traditional indigenous healers and their organizations consider the law a two-edged sword. On the one hand it provides them with legal measures for their protection, but on the other, they perceive it as a dangerous threat to their culture and practices. This has led them to seek legal advice, training, and active participation in the drafting process for such legislation. The result of this project is that they have been able to learn about the law, discuss their demands, and work out a proposal which is included in this document.

Ameridian Health; Health Policy; Health Systems; Health Legislation; Traditional Indigenous Medicine


Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública Sergio Arouca, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz Rua Leopoldo Bulhões, 1480 , 21041-210 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel.:+55 21 2598-2511, Fax: +55 21 2598-2737 / +55 21 2598-2514 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil
E-mail: cadernos@ensp.fiocruz.br