Public hospitals in Mexico are running out of money

A group of hospital directors claimed that not a single institute had enough resources to last through the year

Public hospitals in Mexico are running out of money
Hospital directors urged the chairman of the Budget Commission, to unfreeze the MXN$2.3 billion worth of resources that are currently being held for verification - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 25/05/2019 13:14 Perla Miranda Mexico City Actualizada 13:14
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Mexican hospitals and National Healthcare Institutes are on the verge of full-blown insolvency for their regular operations due to budget cuts and the freezing of economic resources by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP).

During a meeting with members of the Deputy Chamber’s Budget Commission, the directors of nine national healthcare institutes, as well as the Children’s Hospital of Mexico and the Gea González hospital, revealed just how much the financial measures implemented by the administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) had affected them.

Through a document delivered to legislators, the directors claimed that not a single institute had enough resources to last through the year, which will likely prevent them from purchasing anesthesia services, extra staff, extra hours, and water supply. Furthermore, doctors have estimated a reduction in the number of surgeries and foreseen overall insufficiency in some medical areas.

Their analysis warns that the budget of all nine institutes and two hospitals will run out by June as they are now in urgent need of hiring operational staff, paying for internet services, medication and drugs that are not in the basic list, additional stimuli for medical staff, and other products and equipment for intensive care units.

Since the beginning of May, the directors of Nutrition, Pediatrics, Neurology, Cancerology, and the Children and Gea González hospitals were notified that their outsourcing resources would be frozen as an austerity measure.

Thus, at the meeting with deputies, the directors urged Alfonso Ramírez Cuéllar (MORENA), chairman of the Budget Commission, to unfreeze the MXN$2.3 billion worth of resources that are currently being held for verification.

Ramírez Cuéllar claimed that the directors had asked to meet with the Minister of Finance and the Mexican President directly. Carlos Urzúa, head of the SHCP, will be asked to provide detailed information on the execution of expenditures.

The Federico Gómez Children’s Hospital, led by Jaime Nieto Zermeño, has had 50% of its budget for outsourcing frozen. There is now a lack of anesthesia and nitric oxide which affects around 50% of surgeries from specialized fields such as oncology, transplants, neurosurgery, heart disease, congenital deformities, radiotherapy, etc.

The Perinatology, Pediatric, Geriatrics, and Neurology institutes, as well as the Manuel Gea González Hospital, have complained that a lack of resources to hire staff will directly affect the care for patients, specially children with rare diseases or cancer, which is why they are now urging the Mexican government to unfreeze resources for the purchase of drugs that are not on the basic list.

“It has taken a toll on the work environment, causing a delay in medical care, a shortage of medicine, and an increase in infections,” stated Alejandro Serrano, head of the National Pediatrics Institute.
 

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