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News Article

Mexico Needs 154,786 Specialists: Minister of Health

ByRodrigo Andrade |Thu, 06/02/2022 - 11:46

Mexico has a large gap of medical specialists, said Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer Varela. 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. 

To address this need, the Mexican Government called for specialists from all around Mexico to work in the region. Of the 13,765 job postings, a total of 9,725 openings were still available by May 31. The postings will close on June 3. Zoé Robledo, General Director, Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), also pointed out that 3,390 out of the 9,725 open vacancies pertain to localities with under 200,000 habitants. 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador had previously announced an alliance to recruit 500 Cuban doctors. When announced, the decision was highly controversial. For example, Andrés Castañeda, Coordinator, Nosotrxs´ Health and Wellness Cause, said that doctor availability is not a problem when staffing rural medical facilities; the main obstacle is the insecurity that these rural zones face daily. “These places must be safe and have the necessary supplies, infrastructure and equipment to be able to address any kind of situation,” said Castañeda. 

According to INEGI, Mexico has on average 2.8 doctors and specialists per 1,000 habitants, but their distribution varies widely. Mexico City, for example, has an average of 4.7 doctors per 1,000 habitants, while Chiapas has only 1.2 doctors. 

Small cities not located in rural areas are also failing to attract doctors, said Robledo. These include: Taxco, Guerrero; Cuautla, Morelos; Boca del Rio, Veracruz, and Zacatecas, Zacatecas. “[These municipalities] are not receiving interest from the physicians who are registering, 38 percent of open vacancies are in Chiapas, Michoacan and the state of Veracruz,” said Robledo. 

Photo by:   jarmoluk, ckstockphoto
Rodrigo Andrade Rodrigo Andrade Junior Journalist & Industry Analyst