Health Systems and Policy Research

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Barriers in the Implementation of Health Public Policies for the Mennonite Community

Patricia IS

The object of this research is to describe the public policies for health in México, principally at Chihuahua state, to analyze the obstacles for their implementation between the members of the Mennonite community in Cuauhtémoc. The study was realized with Mexican Mennonites, members of a religious group of European migrants, living in this region since 1922. This group has a different culture of the rest of inhabitants of México. They live isolated from the dominant community and preserve a living style inherited for more than 500 years. Under a qualitative focus methodology, it was made a documental research of the public policies for health in México, using as a basis the ethnic groups under which the Mennonites are catalogued. The ethnographic method was used so as to know the perceptions of the study subjects through deep interviews. The data analysis was made taking as a base a dense description, trying to deep in the ideology, uses and meanings of the Mennonites, and their perceptions about health, sickness and the health services that the Mexican government offer. As a result the conclusions indicate that the health public policies in México are effective on the Tarahumara Indians and mestizos, but there are no policies about groups such as the Mennonites, because, even though they were born in this country, they have so different points of view that they consider themselves as Mennonites, but not as Mexicans. As a response, the health politics do not have a special way of treating their traditions and uses.