Members of the Public Health System march in Mexico City

Protesters marched along Reforma avenue to reach Zócalo square in downtown Mexico City; similar protests took place in Chiapas, Jalisco, Guerrero and Nuevo León

The protesters demand better working conditions – Photo: Fernando Ramírez / EL UNIVERSAL
English 23/10/2016 19:17 Newsroom Mexico City, Chiapas, Jalisco, Guerrero, Nuevo León Actualizada 19:53

A group of over one-hundred people made up by doctors, nurses, health technicians, retirees and pensioners from different institutions of the Mexican public health system marched earlier today from the Ángel de la Indpendencia monument to the Zócalo square in Mexico City.

Protesters expressed their outright rejection to the reform presented by president Peña Nieto, and which has been backed up by Minister of Health, José Narro Robles, that promotes a “universal health coverage” which will leave costly treatments like dialysis and haemodialysis out of the current social security system.

Protests also took place in the states of Chiapas, Jalisco, Guerrero and Nuevo León

 

In Chiapas, protesters from Tapachula and Tuxtla Gutiérrez demanded the supply of medical inputs and medications to properly stock their clinics, as well as the coverage of their travel expenses to offer medical assistance in isolated communities.

They explained how they have to face furious family members related to patients who are affected by the medical inputs and medication shortages or how they have been violently addressed and retained by the patients' relatives in some cases.

In Jalisco, around 130 medical doctors marched from La Minerva monument to the Armas square where they demanded the Ministry of Health to back down from the reform made to the Federal Health Law.

They also demanded more safety measures for the medical practitioners that are being sent to clinics and health centers in municpalities where they have reported being subject of attacks and extortions.

Additionally, they expressed their disturbance for the lack of budget, medical inputs and personnel in several areas of the state's public health system and demanded to have a medical specialist in charge of the medical services being provided in each of the state's municipalities.

In Guerrero, protesters marched along La Costera Avenue and headed to La Diana monument where they reiterated their rejection to the “unjust” Federal Health Law and demanded safety measures that would offer them protection from the rise in the organized crime that has lashed against the course of their medical activities.

They also commemorated the death of Dr. Adela Rivas Orbé, Director of Micro Areas of the Mexican Social Security Institute in Costa Grande, who went missing last September 22 and was found lifeless twelve days ago in the vicinities of La Majahua beach.

According to Dr. Javier Merino, from the Institute for Security and Social Services for State Workers (ISSSTE), the State Attorney General’s Office should retract from their hypothesis of “crime of passion” as: “Dr. Rivas was investigating the corruption inside the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) [..] here is where the Attorney General’s Office should concentrate its investigation efforts”.

Protesters also demanded a halt to the extortion, robbery and kidnapping of members of the public health sector and warned about the rise of these crimes in the region.

In Nuevo León, around 300 people marched through downtown Monterrey in full rejection to the reform in the public health system and warned that it would be damaging to the social security of all Mexicans.

Francisco Sepúlveda, one of the organizers, stated that they wish to set up discussion panels with the Ministry of Health to go over the already approved reform as well as to express their concern on what it is believed to be the reform's intent of pushing forward the purchase of private health insurances on behalf of patients, since the “universal health coverage” will only guarantee basic medical attention and will leave “second level” medical treatments and medical specialties out of the Mexican public health system present coverage.

 

 

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