Chiapas/Mexico: Health Sector Starts Strike Against Reform, Lack of Medicine and Equipment

Health.png@ SDPnoticias Photo property of: @Yosoymedico17

In Chiapas, more than 2,000 workers of Health Jurisdiction Number II, which covers 18 municipalities in the Highlands of Chiapas, have declared a strike since June 7 to demand equipment and medicine for patients as well as social benefits: “What we are asking for is one hundred percent provision of medicines in all medical units, as this is a problem that the authorities haven’t solved in four years.” They pose that patients are not satisfied with treatment because there is neither medicines nor equipment to tend to them. On another note, health workers have complained that although pensions, loans and other benefits are being discounted from them, they are not being subscribed to the corresponding bank accounts. Due to this, thousands of health workers marched in San Cristobal de Las Casas on June 14, requesting that their demands be addressed and siding against the Health Reform Bill and in support of the teachers. They have held a sit-in in the city since that date. More recently, on June 22, 2016, the health sector called for a national strike. The main reason is the new Universal Health System, a proposal of President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2013, and whose first phase came into effect the previous week.

The Universal Health System proposes that any Mexican patient can be seen to in hospitals of the Mexican Institute of Health Insurance (IMSS), the ISSSTE, as well as hospitals of the federal and state Health Secretariat, without taking into account which of these the patient is affiliated to.

Nevertheless, the #Yosoymédico17 movement (a movement which started in Guadalajara, Jalisco, two years ago in support of two doctors accused of negligence) complained that, in reality, this new system “seeks to dress up the privatization of health in Mexico”, so that businessmen owners of private hospitals make financial profit, while the quality of the rightholders’ service worsens. The other two reasons are to bring to light “the continued aggressions” against doctors and nurses in the country, and denounce “the criminalization” of doctors and nurses in cases of supposed medical negligence.

For more information in Spanish:

#YoSoyMédico17 convoca a paro del sector salud, El Universal, 22 de junio de 2016

Médicos convocan a un paro nacional el 22 de junio, Animal Político, mayo 2016

Personal de salud va a paro de labores en Chiapas, La Jornada, 7 de junio 2016

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