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Hospital without medical supplies, patients forced to pay

Tlalnepantla, Mexico — Although the government of the State of Mexico said earlier this year that the problem of shortage of medicines in the health sector is resolved, patients continue to experience a lack of supplies.

Residents of Naucalpan, Atizapán and Cuautitlán still have to buy medication as well as pay for outside clinical tests because the local ISEM is often without supplies. Last year, the state said that 81 percent of the supplies needed for the hospital were available, yet the Institute of Health of the state (ISEM) says the figures of actual supply coverage is between 50 and 65 percent.

With the current shortages, doctors, who requested anonymity, pointed out that the ISEM hospitals had better conditions last year hinting to a possible diversion of resources due to the current electoral process.

“At a meeting a couple of weeks ago, the director told us that the medical supply level was 65 percent. But it changes every days. Sometimes it’s 50 percent,” said a doctor at Atizapán hospital.

In a tour of the units in Naucalpan and Atizapán, it was found that patients buy medicines and materials. Those who are hospitalized must pay for outside tests.

Several patients who have been turned away from the local ISEM have been forced to receive care elsewhere where they had to pay for everything, leaving many in debt for hospital expenses.