Ministry to Review Working Conditions of Medical StudentsBy Rodrigo Andrade | Wed, 07/20/2022 - 13:39
During President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s morning press conference, Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer Varela said that the ministry will review the working conditions for medical students in Mexico’s rural communities. However, these medical internships will continue as they are “an academic and professional need,” he added.
During the latest Pulse of Health segment, which takes place every Tuesday and is hosted by Alcocer and Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell, Alcocer addressed the events in Durango, where medical student Eric Andrade Ramírez lost his life. “It is a sad event that should not be repeated. However, young people have to finish their education with practices and social presence in the different instances, although it is necessary to analyze the distant sites that do not have completely safe conditions,” said Alcocer.
Safety is one of the main concerns that worry doctors, medical students and other medical professionals working at rural medical facilities, said Andrés Castañeda, Coordinator, Nosotrxs’ Health and Wellness Cause. Doctor availability is not a problem when staffing rural medical facilities; the main problem is the insecurity that those rural zones face. “These places must be safe and have the necessary supplies, infrastructure and equipment to be able to address any kind of situation,” said Castañeda, as reported by MBN.
The Mexican Government started the Health for Wellness Plan and National Recruitment and Hiring Day for Specialist Physicians to tackle the lack of medical professionals in the country’s rural areas. By July 13, the program had hired 2,621 medical professionals and had 4,494 pending accreditation. It will restart on July 21 on a permanent basis, giving priority to professionals applying to vacancies in areas that are difficult to access.
During the press conference, President López Obrador highlighted the advances made in hiring medical professionals to provide free medical care through Mexico’s Health for Wellness Institute (INSABI). “We are making an effort to have doctors and specialists. We are working state by state and have already achieved it in Nayarit, where we already have almost 100 percent... it is the model state,” said López Obrador.
While INSABI is hiring more doctors, its medical expenses shrank during the first five months of 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SCHP). Between January and May 2022, the institution spent US$1.27 billion, a 15 percent decrease year over year, as reported by MBN.