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Oaxaca health workers protest outside Insabi headquarters. Oaxaca health workers protest outside Insabi headquarters.

Oaxaca doctors hold 300 health service employees hostage in CDMX

'They call us essential but treat us as disposable'

A group of disgruntled health workers from Oaxaca blocked access to a federal government building in Mexico City for eight hours on Tuesday, trapping some 300 workers inside.

About 60 doctors, orderlies, paramedics and psychologists arrived at the headquarters of the National Institute of Health for Well-Being (Insabi) at 12:00 p.m. to attend a meeting with officials to resolve working conditions in Oaxaca. More than 2,000 health employees who worked on the front line in the fight against COVID-19 have been dismissed.

Gabriela Colín Altamirano, a doctor, told the newspaper Reforma that Insabi officials stood them up. The health workers – members of a union of temporary health workers – proceeded to block the entrances and exits to the Insabi building, located in the southern Mexico City neighborhood of Guadalupe Inn.

It was after 9:00 p.m. when Insabi employees were finally able to leave the building, Reforma reported. It was unclear whether Juan Antonio Ferrer, the institute’s director, was among the workers trapped inside.

The health workers planned to remain at Insabi headquarters until they were given the opportunity to meet with officials. They set up tents to camp outside the building on Tuesday night.

One of the banners they hung outside the facility read: “They call us essential. They treat us as disposable.”

With reports from Reforma 

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