Despite austerity measures, the Conacyt spent over $2 million on health insurance for 26 workers 

Conacyt said the healthcare service is for 26 workers who filed a lawsuit against the science institute

Despite austerity measures, the Conacyt spent over $2 million on health insurance for 26 workers 
In recent years, the Conacyt has been tainted by scandals and criticism - Photo: Carlos Mejía/EL UNIVERSAL
English 26/04/2020 14:24 Antonio Díaz Mexico City Actualizada 14:37
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The National Science and Technology Council (Conacyt) allocated MXN $2,142,502 on health insurance for 26 officials and their families. 

The Conacyt has argued that the purchase of the services was the consequence of a lawsuit filed against the science institute after several unionized workers filed a complaint. 

Despite the austerity law implemented by the federal government, the Conacyt went ahead and hired the service for 26 workers.

According to documents available in Compranet, Metlife México will provide health services for these workers until December 31, 2020. 

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In total, 68 people will benefit from this health insurance. The workers earn between MXN $9,000 and MXN $54,000 per month. 

Lucía Guadalupe Rodríguez Rivero, who was in charge of signing the contract, will also benefit from the health insurance, which will also benefit her husband and two children. 

Martín Ruíz Ramírez and his wife and two children will receive private medical attention. Gerardo Labra García, a technology promoter, wife, and two children will also receive medical attention funded by taxpayers

Other who will receive medical attention at private hospitals include Alicia Contreras Campos, María del Carmen Hernández Cibrian, Martha Isela Sánchez Rodríguez, Margarita Espinosa Loreto, León Granada Sánchez, Paul Delarrue Osnaya, Margarita Castillo Martínez, among others.

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In 2020, the Conacyt was allocated a budget for MXN $19,000 million and spend over MXN $2 million of the private healthcare service, however, it canceled several scholarships

The hiring of private healthcare services for a few government workers takes place amid the COVID-19 pandemic and much criticism against the Conacyt, led by María Elena Álvarez-Buylla. Furthermore, the Republican Austerity Law, implemented don November 2019, established that government departments are barred from hiring these types of services for its workers, especially since they are entitled to healthcare services at public hospitals.  

In response to this report, the Conacyt said the healthcare service is not meant for high-ranking officials but for 26 workers who filed a lawsuit against the science institute and was forced to acquire the service.

Journalists requested legal document proving the contracts signed with Metlife was the result of a lawsuit, however, Cristina Pouliot, a spokesperson for Conacyt, said she was too busy and that “Dr. Elena was about to participate in the COVID-19 news conference.”

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