Mexico City, July 24. Mexican Association spokeswoman Cynthia Flores said that intern doctors in Mexico live their social service in precarious conditions and with the risk of victim attacks from both the population they serve and the crime they organize, therefore their safety and It is necessary to guarantee welfare. of physicians in training.
“What we practically want are things like safety and well-being in our lives,” Flores said in an interview with Efe.
The doctor also recalled that, on July 15, intern Eric Andrade, 15 days after completing his social service, was murdered at the El Salto Comprehensive Hospital in the municipality of Pueblo Nuevo, Durango, when he attended two patients. was undergoing treatment.
“He would have finished his social service, unfortunately that was not the case and the situation is that Dr. Eric is not the first to go through this question of insecurity and to give this benefit or this healthcare to a community,” he lamented. expressed. ,
Every year thousands of medical interns in Mexico perform 12 months of compulsory social service in rural and urban areas of the country.
threats and attacks
The latest figures from the Ministry of Health (SSA) indicate that in 2021 alone, 34,000 interns served in federal and state SSA clinics, hospitals, and national health institutions, among other public and private hospitals.
Overall, about 6,000 medical interns perform their social service in remote communities in the interior of the country, according to the Mexican Association of Physicians in Training.
Flores assures that most of them receive threats or are kidnapped by organized crime.
“They get threats or warnings. These are situations in which they are very exposed. There are complaints of harassment, rape and kidnapping and they do not want to say them as they prefer to remain silent out of fear,” he assured.
For this reason, he specified, the exact number of how many medical interns were attacked during their social service is unknown.
However, in a previous survey conducted by the association last year, it was possible to document that 40% of medical interns experienced some form of insult or verbal aggression.
“We have data that in cases of violence and harassment, 40.1% reported insecurity throughout their training. Whereas 40% suffered injuries at the university or hospital,” Flores said.
And he estimates that at least one medical intern died annually over the past five years. To update these figures, the association has launched a new survey that is available to medical students on the organization’s social networks.
Flores explained that in this context he has made several requests to the Ministry of Health to guarantee the well-being of interns during this phase of their professional lives.
“We want protection through medical schools and faculties that do not accept that doctors go to areas with high rates of violence. That they actually ensure that the health centers have conditions, because many times they do not have health services to provide,” he said.
He lamented that at times, many students are “paying with their lives” to dream of becoming doctors or practicing medicine.
indifference of officials
Last Tuesday, the Health Secretary, George Alcosar, condoled the killing of Dr. Eric Andrade, but affirmed that social service is an educational necessity that cannot be revoked.
“(Social Service) is an academic requirement which cannot be canceled in principle, because it is at the time when the doctor is about to graduate and they take that time to prepare for their examination and get the preparatory courses for it. do,” he said.
And he assured that “it is not appropriate, it is not appropriate” that this training process be suspended because it is very important for young doctors who are about to graduate.
For Flores, the fact that the SSA doesn’t want to disappear the social service that puts thousands of medical students at risk each year reacts to a variety of factors, but mainly because “it’s not convenient for them.” Because primary care in rural communities is more remotely delivered by students, where doctors with ID don’t want to go.
Finally, he said that a thorough analysis of how doctors are being trained in Mexico is necessary, because many times there are no doctors during social service that accompanies interns “there is no educational program and this Affects health systems and in patients.