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Midwives in the Mexican health system


  • Parra, Pilar Alicia


The health care system in Mexico was built upon a western model in which curative rather than preventive medicine is emphasized. However, the incorporation of indigenous midwives into maternal and child care and family planning programs by several public health agencies is an exception to the governmental health policies. An analysis of midwife preferences among rural women indicates that primarily poor illiterate women with children, living in remote areas with difficult access, rely on midwives. The continued reliance on midwives by this sector of the population makes the government programs most important. These programs are a unique case in which the incorporation of traditional practitioners in the modern health system has occurred. However, in order to implement programs that have the capability to offer rural women the benefits of both health systems, the incorporation of the traditional midwives requires not only the upgrading of their skills in modern antiseptic techniques, but the recognition of the contributions of traditional health practices, and the research of elements and practices to foster its understanding.

Suggested Citation

  • Parra, Pilar Alicia, 1993. "Midwives in the Mexican health system," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 1321-1329, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:37:y:1993:i:11:p:1321-1329

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Michael Grossman, 1972. "The Demand for Health: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gros72-1, January.
    4. Tietenberg, T H, 1990. "Economic Instruments for Environmental Regulation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 17-33, Spring.
    5. Halkos, George E., 1993. "Sulphur abatement policy: Implications of cost differentials," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1035-1043, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Johnson, Michelle A. & Marchi, Kristen S., 2009. "Segmented assimilation theory and perinatal health disparities among women of Mexican descent," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 101-109, July.


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