VICTORIA, TAM.- The public hospital system at all levels is beginning to suffer from the ills of an old and insufficient infrastructure, which is added to the lack of personnel, equipment and medicines.
This triggered complaints from citizens, beneficiaries of IMSS, ISSSTE, PEMEX and users of public hospitals.
In Tamaulipas, there are about 109 buildings of these institutions, ranging from general and specialized hospitals to small family medicine units set up in rural areas.
Some of them are more than 100 years old, such as the Victoria Civil Hospital, which has already exceeded 130 years of operation, others -the majority- date from the 1960s and 1970s and have undergone some partial renovations .
In total, hospitals overseen by the state government health secretary have 1,448 registered beds.
And in those of the federal zone, a similar amount is estimated. One of the major shortages facing public hospitals in Tamaulipas is that of medical specialists. This problem was highlighted last week when the Federal Ministry of Health presented the figures for vacancies in different entities of the Republic.
According to this report, Tamaulipas is the state with the most vacancies for medical specialists at the Mexican Social Security Institute, with 116, some of which have been vacant for more than three years.
Following this information, the Health sector opened a call for 538 vacancies to come and work in Tamaulipas at IMSS, ISSSTE, Pemex. Of this number, 100 are intended for internal medicine, 74 for medico-surgical emergencies, 40 for general surgery, 39 for pediatrics, 31 for gynecology-obstetrics, 30 for ophthalmology and 28 for diagnostic imaging.
In addition, there are 19 positions in urology, 18 in otolaryngology, 14 in anaesthesiology, 14 in cardiology, 13 in dermatology, 13 in neurosurgery, 13 in orthopedic traumatology, 7 in epidemiology, 7 in patient medicine and 7 in pulmonology. To date, the number of positions filled in the state has not been reported, but nationally only 20% of hiring has been completed.
In the clinics of the State Workers’ Security and Social Services Institute in Tamaulipas, the most constant complaints are precisely those related to the lack of specialized medical personnel.
In Victoria, Cecilia R. reports that her mother was diagnosed with cancer and, despite being a teacher, had to be cared for by individuals due to the lack of specialists at the Victoria ISSSTE clinic.
“When my father was commissioned for a study, there was no specialist at ISSTE, so we had to do it with private individuals. It cost us about eight thousand pesos, in addition to the fact that he has no medicine at the clinic.” The woman reports that the lack of medicine is another problem affecting the clinic because even when the specialists point out that it is vitally important to apply it, they do not have it, so it must be bought at the clinic. ‘outside.
Another case is that of Mario R, another beneficiary, who recounted the delay in outpatient consultations. “When you get an appointment you already know that you have to arrive earlier to queue, there are few specialists, so every time you show up there are at least 15 people waiting for you, imagine someone who is sick and in pain and who still has to wait hours for treatment”.
Users of the Mexican Social Security Institute claim that the treatment of doctors, nurses and administrative staff is friendly and has improved.
Here, the problem lies in the lack of medicines, because medicines as necessary as the one to treat diabetes or hypertension sometimes take months to arrive and the user must buy them privately.
“I take a medicine called Janumet, which costs 800 pesos in the pharmacy and sometimes I have to buy it because it took me up to two months to get to the hospital, no way I won’t take it. “, said Benjamin S.
SUPPLIES ARE LACK IN THE GENERAL
Many of the complaints related to Victoria General Hospital are due to lack of medications and supplies.
“I have two bad experiences, the last one was from my eldest daughter who was hospitalized and we bought everything separately, we had to pay after having an operation.”
Carmen M., who had her father hospitalized in July, points out that during the two weeks most of the medication was not covered by the hospital. “My father had an operation, from the start they asked me for medicine, every day it was a different prescription, some were not so expensive, but others were over 3,000 pesos.”
Added to this are some structural deficiencies such as the fact that the elevator does not always work, not even for patients in wheelchairs.
Recently, Victoria General Hospital was in the midst of a controversy over the disappearance of the body of a stillborn baby. His relatives continue to demand that the case investigated by the Attorney General’s office be clarified, without any progress in the investigation being known to date.
Lack of medicine is not exclusive to Victoria Hospital, Tampico, staff at Carlos Canseco General Hospital protested the lack of medicine that complicates their work.
1,400 workers are currently working under protest for this cause. María Concepción Romero Hernández, secretary of the union of Section 51 Subsection 5 and of the National Union of Workers of the Health Secretariat explained that the most felt need is the material of daily consumption such as: gauze, syringes, solutions, punzocat, venoset, metricet, pump equipment, gloves, gauzes and medicines, among others.
“Colleagues see the need to reuse syringes, to buy their own gloves, what we want as a union is for healthcare staff to be cleared of any legal involvement that may arise, because I serve the people that the truth is my respects, disagrees and debates, but we are not responsible for the lack of material, we are only doing our job”
Another hospital in the metropolitan area, the Civil de Madero, is facing serious problems due to the poor condition of the building, after 89 years of operation.
Indeed, the gradual closure of this hospital is underway so that its staff can be distributed to other clinics in the area.
This, while waiting for the commissioning of the new Civil Hospital of Madero, a work that began to be built in 2015 and which has not yet been completed due to various disputes with the construction companies in charge of it.
However, work was halted completely, and the Secretary of State for Public Works said federal resources were lacking for the hospital to be completed.
BY RAUL LOPEZ GARCIA
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