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News Article

Mexico Could Hire More Foreign Doctors/US-Mexico Meeting

By Paloma Duran | Tue, 06/28/2022 - 14:52

Mexico-US meeting. López Obrador announced that on July 12 he will meet with the US President Joe Biden to discuss issues of binational cooperation and immigration. “Next month I am going to travel to discuss with Biden key issues such as immigration. It is a pressing  issue that we have discussed many times. However, we still have to decide certain issues.”

The meeting between López Obrador and Biden will focus on immigration, investment, economy issues, which were discussed at the Summit of the Americas. However, since López Obrador did not attend, the new meeting is to discuss and agree on key agreements.

The migration situation for Mexico and the US is expected to remain complicated for the rest of 2022, especially because the announcement of a possible lifting of migration policies and the decline in COVID-19 contagions are expected to increase migration. According to US government data, 234,088 migrants arrived at the Mexico-US border in April 2022, up from 221,000 arrivals in March of this year. In May, 7,400 migrants arrived in the US each day.

COVID-19 vaccination for minors. Deputy Minister of Prevention and Health Promotion Hugo López-Gatell announced that on the first vaccination day for children ages five to 11, 150,000 minors were vaccinated. In addition, López-Gatell stressed that this week 2 million additional doses will arrive to Mexico.  “Although some states began vaccinating this age group on Sunday, yesterday we officially began vaccinating the group nationwide. The recommendation to families is to not stop vaccinating their children. Minors now have the option to be protected and it is now the responsibility of parents to take them to vaccination centers.”

Previously, the Ministry of Health announced that it has a stock of approximately 10.5 million COVID-19 vaccines for the Mexican adult population. However, there were not enough vaccines for those under 12 years of age. Consequently, since last month, the Ministry of Health began negotiations with Pfizer BioNTech for the acquisition of additional vaccines. Previously, for the 12+ age bracket, the government applied AstraZeneca's vaccines.

Fifth wave of COVID-19. López-Gatell reported that the country now has nine weeks of increasing COVID-19 cases.  However, he stressed that the number of hospitalizations and deaths have not reached the levels of previous pandemic waves. “We are witnessing an upward trend in infections, hospitalizations and deaths related to COVID-19. Fortunately, hospitalizations have increased very little. It went from 4 percent to 6 percent in general bed occupancy and from 1 percent to 2 percent for ventilated beds.. Meanwhile, daily deaths went from 5 to 7, an increase but much less than previous months.”

Yesterday, the Health Ministry reported four additional deaths, bringing the death toll to 325,580. Meanwhile, there were 5,883 new infections, bringing the number of infections to 5,962,615. With these figures, Mexico places fourth for most COVID-19-related deaths worldwide, after the US, Brazil and India.

Medical shortage continues. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador defended his position of hiring Cuban doctors and even assured that he will hire more from other countries, such as France and the US to address the problem of lack of doctors in marginalized areas of the country. “There is a lack of doctors and what we want medical practitioners to be available throughout the country. We are going to bring them from Cuba, France, the US and wherever we can get them and have a comprehensive health system.”

Last month, López Obrador was widely criticized for wanting to hire Cuban doctors to work in Mexico´s marginalized areas, so the government announced that it will open new job positions for Mexican doctors. Previously, López Obrador reported that the country has a deficit of 50,000 doctors, a problem that is exacerbated in rural areas because Mexican medical professionals seek to study and work in larger cities. The president said that sometimes Mexican doctors even refuse to move to rural areas. Meanwhile, medical and professional organizations in Mexico have claimed that López Obrador's initiative discriminates against Mexican doctors because they already compete in an oversaturated job market.

Last week, Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer reported that of the 10,920 doctors who registered for the new medical positions offered by the government, 57 percent did not attend their first appointment for the delivery of documents and position assignments .

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
Gobierno de México, Milenio
Photo by:   Gobierno de México
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst