Murat inspects the state's new ambulances. Murat inspects the state's new ambulances.

‘Endless corruption’ hit health the hardest

Oaxaca governor says health sector was 'pillaged' under previous administration

Corruption in Oaxaca was endless under its previous governor but the worst sector affected was that of health, whose secretary — now in jail — depleted its resources.

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Governor Alejandro Murat Hinojosa made the charge this week while delivering 52 new ambulances. Under his predecessor, Gabino Cué Monteagudo, the health system was “pillaged,” he said.

The state Comptroller and Attorney General are investigating further cases of embezzlement, he continued, with the result that some of those responsible are already in jail and more will probably follow.

“Law enforcement has been firm in this administration, enabling the imprisonment of the ex-health secretary, Germán Tenorio, who used the money intended for citizens’ health to grow rich.”

The irregularities detected in Tenorio’s leadership so far include unfinished construction projects, missing and stolen medications and services contracted but undelivered.

Murat said that investigations have revealed that some of the revenues received by the state Children’s Hospital were diverted and not reinvested in its operation. The administrative department of the facility, he said, will be reorganized.

In order to guarantee stricter spending controls at the Health Secretariat, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) governor announced the hiring of an international consultancy “to enforce the best practices and achieve optimal service efficiency.”

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Murat said that he had to “knock on many doors” asking for the 600 million pesos (over US $34 million) needed by his administration to rescue the state’s health system.

Over half that sum was used to renovate existing facilities or open new ones: the renovation and equipping of the Civil Hospital in the state’s capital, which will be completed in August, cost 80 million.

The new 113-million-peso Women’s Hospital will initially have 40 beds but will get 60 more next year.

The Isthmus will also have a new regional hospital, valued at 140 million pesos, while work on the IMSS hospitals in the municipalities of Tlaxiaco, Huajuapan and Tuxtepec will be concluded.

The ambulances delivered this week included 12 emergency vehicles and 40 more for patient transfers. Murat said 23 more were on their way.

The governor also promised that supplies of medicines will be at 95% of requirements by the end of year, and at 100% by the end of his term in 2022. The state had only 30% of its needs when he took office, he said.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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