By KELIN DILLON
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many casualties around the globe, and healthcare personnel, particularly in Mexico, have unfortunately been no exception.
Back in September, Amnesty International released a report revealing that Mexico had a higher number of healthcare workers die from covid-related issues than any other country in the world.
As of Dec. 21, 2,330 medical personnel had reportedly died from the coronavirus in Mexico, according to official figures released by the government.
Inadequate testing and lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) lead to many of these deaths, according to a research paper by Lorena Guerrero, an infectious disease expert in Mexico City.
Some Mexican healthcare workers reported having to purchase their own PPE due to the substandard quality of those provided by hospitals for their employees.
Mexico has one of the lowest number of medical personnel compared to population size in the world. The nation was estimated to be lacking over 200,000 necessary physicians for years prior to 2020, an issue only exacerbated by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Government officials said back in April that there would need to be more hirings in the health sector for Mexico to make it through its covid outbreak with adequate treatment.
Despite this, the healthcare industry in Mexico reportedly saw very little new employment in 2020.
The Institute for Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSTE), covering government workers, reported only hiring 509 new employees in the past year. Likewise, the Mexico City Secretary of Health only hired 339 nursing workers during 2020.
Meanwhile, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), which covers all private sector employees, reportedly hired 4,837 health care workers during the pandemic.
These statistics show a staggering distance between the employment capabilities of the public and private sectors in Mexico.
On Tuesday, Dec. 29, during Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s daily press conference, IMSS director Zoé Robledo presented the Miguel Hidalgo award to 980 hospitals in Mexico, in honor of their healthcare efforts throughout the pandemic.
Frontline healthcare personnel are the first to receive the new coronavirus vaccine as it begins to arrive in Mexico, hopefully supplying some much needed relief to all the doctors and nurses risking their lives in the country’s fight against coronavirus.
…Dec. 30, 2020