Mexico: Treatment for non-COVID-19 patients is put on hold

29/06/2020
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09:01
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Mexico: Treatment for non-COVID-19 patients is put on hold
EL UNIVERSAL talked to doctors who work for the Mexico City government, IMSS, and ISSSTE, who say outpatient care has come to a halt - Photo: Rebecca Blackwell/AP

Mexico: Treatment for non-COVID-19 patients is put on hold

29/06/2020
09:01
Mexico City
Editorial
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As documented by the OECD, Mexico lacks enough doctors

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The emergency sparked by COVID-19 forced the health system in every country to focus on fighting and containing the pandemic. In Mexico, dozens of hospitals were converted and stopped treating regular patients to tend to those who contracted COVID-19. 

So far, the strategy has shown positive results because hospitals haven’t collapsed and doctors have been able to treat all patients. Nevertheless, a sector has been marginalized and demands not to be forgotten. 

Patients who suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or HIV have to meet with experts and receive medicine every couple of weeks; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, their visits to the doctor were postponed and many of these patients don’t know when will they see their doctors again.

EL UNIVERSAL talked to doctors who work for the Mexico City government, IMSS, and ISSSTE, who say outpatient care has come to a halt, as well as appointments with experts in cardiology, orthopedic, and endocrinology. For now, they are only treating emergencies. 

Recommended: COVID-19 Live Updates: Mexico

Therefore, non-COVID-19 patients are in danger: a possible novel coronavirus contagion could end their lives, but they can also die if they stop receiving medical treatment for their chronic illness. 

Abandoning those who suffer from chronic illnesses is a decision that risks many lives. It is urgent to treat them too.

However, there are several factors behind this issue. As documented by the OECD, Mexico lacks enough doctors

While the country doesn’t create public policies that aim to increase the number of doctors, nurses, and experts, the Mexican health system won’t have the capacity to timely and efficiently treat all its patients. If the COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t force Mexico to solve this problem then nothing will.

Recommended: Mexico City to provide COVID-19 training for general practitioners

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