Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Mexico casts net internationally to find medical specialists

The federal government is looking beyond Mexico’s borders to find specialist doctors to fill more than 700 positions in 15 states.

The director of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) announced on Tuesday an international campaign to recruit 749 doctors across 43 specialties to work in 54 public hospitals.

Mexican doctors can also apply for the jobs, but Zoé Robledo said the campaign is targeted at “specialists from other parts of the world who are interested in coming to Mexico to work for a period of one year.”

The IMSS chief asserted that the recruitment drive – which formally commences Wednesday – will allow the government to recruit specialists for places where they are most needed.

IMSS chief Zoé Robledo said the public health system can’t find specialists because in the last 30 years, 80% of medical school candidates have been rejected.

The foreign doctors are slated to work in 13 hospitals in Sonora, seven in Baja California Sur, seven in Chiapas, six in Nayarit, four in Oaxaca, three in Colima, two in each of Michoacán, Veracruz, Tlaxcala, Zacatecas and Chihuahua and one in each of Baja California, Guerrero, Hidalgo and Campeche. Many of the hospitals are located in remote communities in those states.

In addition to having relevant medical qualifications, doctors must be fluent in Spanish to be considered for the positions and are required to present a letter from their most recent employer.

Robledo told President López Obrador’s regular news conference that applications will be considered by a committee of experts and the government will arrange the appropriate visas for successful candidates.

After the government announced it was bringing Cuban doctors to Mexico earlier this year, the heads of 30 medical colleges, associations and federations rejected the claim that there was a shortage of medical professionals and described the hiring of foreigners as a “serious offense” against Mexican health professionals.

President Lopez Obrador of Mexico
Earlier this year, the nation looked to Cuba to fill vacant doctor positions. At the time, President López Obrador said no Mexican doctors wanted to fill the positions, a claim many unemployed doctors refuted. Galo Cañas Rodríguez/Cuartoscuro

López Obrador and Health Minister Jorge Alcocer have both said that Mexican doctors are unwilling to work in remote areas and for that reason, the government decided to hire Cubans.

Robledo said Tuesday that there is a lack of specialists in Mexico because 80% of people who have sought to enter university to study medicine over the past 30 years have been rejected.

A large group of unemployed Mexican doctors, including specialists, launched a social media campaign in May to highlight that they are ready and willing to work but unable to find a job.

In addition to announcing the international recruitment campaign for specialists, Robledo said that the government was also looking to hire 1,750 general practitioners and 550 specialist nurses.

With reports from El Financiero, Animal Político and El Economista 

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