How will specialist physician vacancies be filled? 3:23 (CNN Spanish) – The Government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador launched a call this Tuesday with 13,765 vacancies for specialist doctors, an offer that comes amid the controversy that the agreement with the Government of Mexico caused among Mexican doctors. Cuba to hire 500 Cuban doctors. The call The offer is part of a plan that, according to the president, intends to “strengthen” the country’s health centers, especially those located in rural areas. The idea of the call is that “everyone is hired” those who are selected to fill the more than a thousand places offered with “immediate” hiring and an “attractive salary,” said the general director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) , Zoé Robledo, when announcing the call. But, what is sought with this call and what are the specialties with the greatest need for personnel? Doctors to strengthen the health system, says the Government The call seeks to cover the available spaces in “highly marginalized and poor areas” but, according to Robledo, also in “difficult coverage shifts” in the cities. As part of the health plan launched by the Government of López Obrador, on-site evaluations are being carried out in all the states of the country to see what is needed to strengthen the health system. For example, in San Luis Potosí — a state located in the central region of Mexico — they carried out a first field study that revealed the difficulties that health personnel face when carrying out their work: lack of stethoscopes, surgical lamps and beds, X-rays, incubators, refrigerators in mortuaries, among others. The offer of vacancies for medical specialists covers all the health systems that exist in Mexico and covers all the states of the country. Veracruz and Michoacán are some of the states where there is more need and where more places have been offered. “This is an effort by all the country’s institutions to fill their vacancies, the same from the IMSS as from the IMSS-Wellness, the Issste, Pemex, the national health institutes and also the governments of the states that added their vacancies through the Insabi”, explained the general director of the IMSS. According to the Government of Mexico, the specialties that are most needed in the country’s public health institutions are: Internist (1,753 vacancies) Emergency physicians (1,728) Gynecology and obstetrics (1,752) Pediatrics (1,517) Anesthesiology (1,367) The call will be open from May 24 to June 3. The results will be announced on June 7 at the morning press conference. To access the call, applicants must go to the website www.medicosespecialistas.gob.mx and register in the section “Register now for the 2022 call!” where you will have to create a user and enter data such as specialty, identity card and place of residence. Controversy over agreement with Cuba During his visit to Havana in early May, López Obrador announced his agreement with Cuba that contemplates bringing 500 Cuban doctors to Mexico under the argument that there are not enough personnel in the country. “We have a shortage of specialists, we can have hospitals, but we don’t have pediatricians, and even more so when it comes to going to work in hospitals in poor areas,” said the president. Faced with this justification, the Mexican doctors expressed their “disapproval and energetic protest” in a letter signed by the presidents of some 30 medical associations and colleges. “In our country there are doctors with capacity endorsed by the Universities of the Mexican Republic, trained in full knowledge of the needs and idiosyncrasies of our population, some of them unemployed or eventually employed with very low wages or in areas of extreme insecurity” said the union in the letter. The hiring of Cuban doctors once again puts the focus on the precariousness faced by health workers in Mexico. During the most critical months of the pandemic, doctors and nurses demonstrated in demand for better quality protective equipment for the care of patients infected by covid-19. “Together with the government, all health professionals work and will work in the care of patients affected by covid-19, even risking our lives and those of our families,” the letter reads. “It is a grievance for the Mexican medical union since these foreign doctors (…) do not have the requirements established by current laws.” This is not the first time that the López Obrador government has been involved in the controversy over hiring Cuban doctors. In 2020, the Mexican outlet Animal Politico published an investigation revealing that the Mexican government paid the Cuban US$6.2 million to hire 585 doctors to help fight the covid-19 pandemic.
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