Image credits: Dominik Karch
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News Article

López Obrador to “Rescue” Abandoned Hospitals

By Rodrigo Andrade | Tue, 06/28/2022 - 16:24

This Tuesday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador committed to “rescue” hospitals that were not completed during previous administrations. These hospitals, of which there are over 200, are programmed to be finished by the end of his administration and will be managed by IMSS-Bienestar. 

“The commitment is that before the end of our government we will have a first-class health system, as the people deserve, but it is not easy, it is quite a challenge, because contrary to what the experts in the service of the conservative mafia think, the neoliberal model they imposed to steal destroyed the health system and not only that, it left us without doctors,” said López Obrador in his daily morning conference.

IMSS-Bienestar is a federal program that seeks to offer healthcare to those who do not have social security and are not affiliated to the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), the Institute of Security and Social Services for State Workers (ISSSTE), PEMEX, the Ministry of National Defense (SEDENA), Ministry of the Navy (SEMAR) or any other state health system. 

This mode was originally planned model since the beginning of his administration, said López Obrador: “Now the federal IMSS-Bienestar system is the one we want to apply as a model throughout the country... to provide care to the entire population that does not have social security, which is the majority of the country's population, so we are rescuing hospitals to convert them into IMSS- Bienestar.” The state with most “unfinished” hospitals is Oaxaca, with over 50, but the problem affects the entire country and the goal is to finish construction of all units in the country, he added. 

As of June 27, 2022, there are 80 rural hospitals, 140 mobile medical units and 45 Rural Obstetrics Care Centers (CARO) operating under IMSS-Bienestar’s umbrella, according to Expansion. 

The president also pointed out that the refurbished hospitals will provide “first level” healthcare. “There is no basic list, [there will be] no saying that we do not have this medicine because it costs too much. We must guarantee that whoever gets sick can be admitted to a hospital even if he or she does not have money,” said López Obrador.

During the morning press conference, López Obrador also highlighted the lack of specialists in Mexico, while claiming the deficit of 433 doctors in Nayarit alone. He defended his decision to bring personnel from Cuba and other countries. The country needs 154,786 doctors to achieve OECD’s recommendation of 3.2 specialists for every 1,000 citizens. Specialists are urgently needed in Veracruz’s rural areas such as la Huasteca, Montaña and Papaloapan-Olmeca. The lack of health professionals is a critical problem for those living in this region, especially because the area lacks pediatricians, as reported by MBN. 

Mexico has on average 2.8 specialists per 1,000 habitants but they are clustered in urban areas. Mexico City, for example, has an average of 4.7 doctors per 1,000 habitants, while regions such as Chiapas have as low as 1.2 doctors for every 1,000 doctors on average. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by:   Dominik Karch
Rodrigo Andrade Rodrigo Andrade Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst