Monday, June 24, 2024

IMSS has requested 5 billion pesos for Covid-19 equipment

The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) intends to dip into its own reserves to buy almost 15,000 pieces of medical equipment for the exclusive treatment of patients with Covid-19.

In a letter sent to the federal Finance Ministry (SHCP), IMSS requested urgent authorization to spend just over 5 billion pesos (US $210.8 million) on 14,975 pieces of equipment.

Obtained by the newspaper El Universal, the letter says that almost 1.6 billion pesos will be used to buy 3,477 vital signs monitors, while just under 1.5 billion pesos is earmarked for the purchase of 979 ventilators that can be used with both adult and child patients.

IMSS said that it would spend just over 518 million pesos on 264 portable X-ray machines, just under 383 million pesos on 600 medical carts, 234.4 million pesos on 9,000 pulse oximeters (devices that monitor the level of oxygen in a patient’s blood) and 54.4 million pesos on 126 basic ultrasound machines.

An additional 87.4 million pesos would be spent on 529 hospital beds including 100 intensive care beds.

The total expenditure outlined is less than 5 billion pesos but IMSS said that prices could rise due to variations in the exchange rate between the Mexican peso and the United States dollar.

The request for spending approval comes after IMSS asked the SHCP in late March to sign off on its use of just over 3.6 billion pesos to purchase 2,500 ventilators and 4,121 vital signs monitors for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

IMSS recently acknowledged that it has a deficit of that number of monitors, which are essential for the care of critically ill Covid-19 patients.

Foreign Affairs Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced last week that the government had purchased 5,272 ventilators from a range of countries but didn’t specify how many would go to IMSS hospitals.

In addition to needing more medical devices, health workers say that IMSS and other public hospitals also require additional supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE).

IMSS director Zoé Robledo said on Wednesday that 80% of the institute’s hospitals have at least enough supplies to continue treating Covid-19 patients for the next week.

However, health workers weren’t appeased: medical personnel in at least 15 states are threatening to go on strike if Robledo fails to provide them with proper PPE.

More than 100 IMSS health workers have tested positive for Covid-19 with sizable clusters of cases detected at hospitals in Coahuila, Baja California Sur and México state.

Source: El Universal (sp) 

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