The federal government will award Mexico’s highest honor to more than 8,000 healthcare workers in recognition of their efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Doctors, nurses, laboratory workers and hospital administrative staff will be among the 8,058 medical personnel who will receive the Condecoración Miguel Hidalgo, a highly prestigious award named after independence leader and Catholic priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.
The decision to bestow the honor on the medical workers came after the Ministry of Health and the Mexican Social Security Institute submitted an official request to the Interior Ministry, which was promptly approved by Interior Minister Olga Sánchez Cordero.
“Health workers have been looking after the patients of the pandemic night and day,” Sánchez said. “I believe that their actions are truly valuable for our country.”
In addition to the Miguel Hidalgo award, the health workers will receive cash prizes funded by revenue the government has obtained by auctioning off assets seized from criminals.
To that end, the director of the grandiloquently named Institute to Return Stolen Goods to the People handed over a 250-million-peso check to Interior Minister Sánchez at Tuesday morning’s presidential press conference.
Fifty-eight doctors and nurses will receive 100,000-peso (US $4,500) prizes along with the highest order of the Condecoración Miguel Hidalgo. The recipients will be selected from a pool of candidates nominated by recovered Covid-19 patients.
An additional 500 health workers will receive the second highest order of the award along with a 50,000-peso cash prize. The recipients will be chosen from candidates nominated by staff at designated Covid-19 hospitals.
The third highest order will be bestowed upon 1,000 medical personnel, who will also receive 30,000-peso prizes while fourth order accolades will be conferred upon the members of hundreds of medical teams who have worked together to save the lives of Covid-19 patients. Prizes of 25,000 pesos will complement the fourth tier Miguel Hidalgo awards.
Medical personnel risking their own health to save the lives of Covid-19 patients have already been honored in less official ways in Mexico, such as a series of murals commissioned by the municipal government in Acapulco, Guerrero.