Doctors, nurses and orderlies at the general hospital in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, reproached federal and state government health authorities for plans to send the hospital coronavirus patients without first supplying it with adequate medical equipment and trained personnel.
Currently, coronavirus patients in Oaxaca are being treated at San Pedro Pochutla and Pinotepa National hospitals.
Clad in masks and medical gowns, the hospital’s staff met government authorities, including Manuel Ruiz López, representative of the social security agency Insabi, and the head of state health services, Donato Casas Escamilla, at the hospital’s door, demanding the supplies and procedural measures they need to care for infected patients.
Emergency rooms lack sanitary filters, they claimed, and hiring practices have not matched the increased demand for pandemic-related medical services.
Critical personal protective equipment, such as gloves, masks and hand sanitizer, is lacking, and the pandemic has “caught us with our pants down,” they said, demanding action. “It is sad and regrettable that as high-level officials they have only stopped at this hospital to take their picture,” said paramedic Iván Reséndiz.
Health Secretary Casas called on doctors and nurses to redouble efforts to care for coronavirus patients, vowing to work with the federal government to support hospitals during the pandemic and ensure the safety of medical personnel providing direct care.
Casas reiterated the importance of working as a team for the health of all Oaxacans.
“Now more than ever we must work together. I know that there are needs in each hospital, and we are working to meet them as soon as possible, but today, we are facing a health emergency that requires joint efforts. Governor Alejandro Murat’s administration is taking the necessary steps to continue providing all hospitals with necessary supplies,” he said.
He asked the directors of the hospitals to manage clear and permanent communication with the staff in their charge, as well as with the rest of the first and second level units to refer patients. He also exhorted them to make good use of personal security equipment, to handle responsible information about patients, and to work in coordination with municipal authorities.
In Oaxaca there are currently 46 confirmed coronavirus case, 60 suspected cases and five fatalities.