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News Article

Insecurity, Lack of Equipment Lack for Doctors in Rural Areas

By Rodrigo Andrade | Thu, 05/26/2022 - 14:14

The two biggest problems regarding medical care in rural areas all around Mexico are insecurity and the lack of proper equipment, according to Nosostrxs. As a result, approximately 5,700 health centers across the country face a shortage of medical professionals.  

This topic has been trending the last few weeks since President López Obrador announced the recruitment of Cuban doctors to meet the medical professionals’ shortage. This controversial decision was made considering there is an approximate 50,000 vacancies for doctors in the country, with most of the availability in rural areas. 

Nosostrxs’ Health and Wellness Cause Coordinator, Andrés Castañeda, stated that doctor availability is not a problem when staffing rural medical facilities. Rather, insecurity is the challenge to beat. “These places must be safe and have the necessary supplies, infrastructure and equipment to be able to address any kind of situation," he said. 

After the announcement regarding the Cuban doctors, López Obrador called for local medical professionals to participate in the tender for 13,765 open job positions in the public medical sector. IMSS Director Zoé Robledo clarified that there will be “attractive salaries and immediate hiring” for those wanting to participate.

According to INEGI, the average of doctors and specialists in Mexico is 2.8 per 1,000 inhabitants, while the OECD recommended average is of 3.2. Some states like Mexico City meet this criterion with an average of 4.7, while others like Chiapas stand at the lower end with only 1.2 doctors per 1,000 people.

"There are many specialists and doctors; that is not the problem. Without a doubt, the problem is guaranteeing professionals’ safety. People are not going to expose themselves to go to Tamaulipas, Michoacan or other difficult places in terms of violence just for money,” said Victoria Isabel Castañeda, a pediatrician working at IMSS’ A3 Gynecology hospital.


Rodrigo Andrade Rodrigo Andrade Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst