The governors of nine states ruled by the conservative National Action Party (PAN) have warned that the public health system is at risk of collapse if the federal government doesn’t provide them with additional funding, equipment and supplies to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Association of National Action Party Governors (GOAN) – whose members are the leaders of Aguascalientes, Baja California Sur, Chihuahua, Durango, Guanajuato, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, Tamaulipas and Yucatán – said that state governments have only received their normal allocation of healthcare funding despite the growing coronavirus pandemic.
“Normality was left behind months ago,” the governors said in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Mexico is going through a serious situation. A challenge that it hasn’t faced in almost a century. To confront it, state governments have made an enormous effort … We have confronted an extraordinary situation with the usual resources,” GOAN said.
In addition to asking for extra funding from the federal government – which GOAN said “holds 90% of the country’s budget resources” – the governors said that they need more Covid-19 testing kits, face masks for medical personnel and ventilators to treat coronavirus patients with life-threatening symptoms.
“If these urgent requests are not attended to, the state [health] systems will collapse. For the good of Mexico, we expect attention to our demands and a solution,” the PAN governors said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization highlights in a new report that Mexico is facing the coronavirus pandemic with a shortage of nursing staff.
Mexico only has 25.8 nurses per 10,000 inhabitants whereas some other countries in the region, including Brazil, Chile and the United States, have more than 100 nurses per 10,000 residents, according to the report State of the World’s Nursing 2020.
In that context, the federal Health Ministry launched a recruitment drive on Saturday that is seeking to find 12,300 nurses and 6,600 doctors.
The medical personnel will be offered six-month contracts, social security benefits for themselves and their families, competitive salaries and training to treat Covid-19 patients imparted by Mexico’s best infectious disease specialists, according to the ministry.
The deputy health minister conceded yesterday that Mexico hasn’t enough nurses or doctors for normal conditions, let alone for an emergency such as Covid-19. “The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development documented many years ago that Mexico did not have enough health personnel …” Hugo López-Gatell said.
The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Mexico increased by almost 300 on Monday – the biggest single-day jump – to more than 2,400 while the disease has claimed the lives of 125 people.
Mexico City has the highest number of cases followed by México state, Puebla, Jalisco, Quintana Roo and Baja California.