Coronavirus
The deputy minister in Zipolite, Oaxaca, last week. The deputy minister in Zipolite, Oaxaca, last week.

Discouraged doctors: minister’s beach vacation triggers resignations

Government's strategy, lack of personnel and supplies among other worries

Four doctors in Cuernavaca, Morelos, have quit in light of Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell’s end-of-year vacation on the coast of Oaxaca.

The coronavirus point man’s trip to the beach was the final straw that precipitated the doctors’ decision to resign, according to a colleague at the Carlos Calero Elorduy ISSSTE hospital in the Morelos capital.

The doctors were already discouraged by the federal government’s pandemic strategy, the lack of medical personnel, supplies and equipment to adequately treat Covid-19 patients and the irresponsibility of some citizens in the face of the virus threat.

“Four of our colleagues – we’re 23 doctors in the Covid area – resigned because, they said: ‘It’s not possible that we’ve been working our butts off for eight months … and the guy [López-Gatell] does this,'” said a doctor who spoke to the newspaper El Universal on the condition of anonymity.

The deputy minister’s decision to leave the nation’s coronavirus epicenter, Mexico City, to travel to Oaxaca was in clear defiance of the stay-at-home advice he has repeatedly asked citizens to follow.

The anonymous doctor told El Universal that the government’s strategy to combat the pandemic, which López-Gatell leads, has failed, noting that it hasn’t been a forceful advocate for face masks, especially early in the pandemic.

Asked what message he would like to convey to the public, the doctor responded that he would use colorful and forceful language to chide them for not following health recommendations.

“The majority don’t understand; we’ve been without medications for months, literally all the [coronavirus] patients who enter intensive care die, we don’t have enough doctors for the number of patients we have,” he said.

“Now we have an approximate fatality rate of between 60% and 65%, in other words out of 100 patients that come in [to hospital] 60 or 65 die. We’ve saved people who’ve come in not such a serious condition … but the reality is … if you go into intensive care, you die.”

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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