MEXICO – Health personnel met this Friday in front of the National Palace, in Mexico City, to demand that real figures be provided for the infected and deceased professionals and that protection against the coronavirus crisis in Mexico be strengthened.
“We ask to open a table so that they know the reality of the workers; recognition of dead colleagues, not applause or medals, we do not want to be heroes, we want to stay alive and keep patients alive; and we demand tools for our work,” said Rafael Soto , nurse at the Cardiology Hospital of the Centro Medico Nacional Siglo XXI.
According to the most recent report, Mexico has a total of 84,627 cases and 9,415 deaths confirmed by COVID-19 in the three months that the disease has been in the country.
The most recent official figures, from May 19, indicate that there have been 11,394 infections and 149 deaths of medical personnel in Mexico.
“The official figures they have do not coincide with real numbers, we believe that there may be many more deceased colleagues and that is why one of the immediate and most important demands is that they give us an official list with names, hospitals, registration numbers and origin, “claimed Soto.
Also, according to Francisco, also a nurse but from the Xoco Hospital, in the south of the city, many of the infected professionals have to return to work in a few days.
Workers from one of the flagship hospitals say they are forced to reuse the masks.
And, he added, some hired for the occasion have not yet received their wages and are frightened at the idea of contracting the disease.
For weeks, health personnel have been complaining about the lack of protection they are experiencing during this crisis in which, they say, they should be very well prepared to be able to serve the population as well as possible.
The solution for the authorities to act in accordance with the difficulties of hospital personnel is, Soto said, a real approach to the day-to-day of a hospital like yours, where there is not enough space to properly care for patients and not even they have N95 masks, the recommended model.
Given the lack of response from the authorities and the need to join forces, the country’s health personnel formed the National Union of Health Workers of Mexico, which arises, said Soto, to approach the authorities and ask them to work together “
“I think (the authorities) are very concerned but they are not talking to who they need to talk to. We tell them ‘get close to the bases to the operatives’, if you want to talk about reality you have to get closer to the trench,” he claimed.
A technical committee will evaluate the causes of the considered “suspicious deaths”
For his part, he sees good intentions in the government but insists that there is still a lot of corruption within the health system inherited from previous leaders, which causes, among other things, that the supplies do not get to where they have to.
“We are not against you, we want to work together but the corruption is still there. Get closer to the workers,” Soto told the Executive.
Both professionals emphasized the multiplicity of factors that make the current situation very complex for them, and that is that they play against ignorance, omission on the part of the government, lack of inputs and fear of being reprimanded for protesting, they alleged .
All this added to the planned entry into the “new normal” for this June 1 and its economic reopening, which, they say, will cause even more infections and hospitals to become saturated, they warned.
Today’s protest joins other protests that have occurred since the beginning of the pandemic across the country, led by health personnel who demanded more protection material and protocols.