Mexico government warns of physician deficit before impending coronavirus spread

MEXICO CITY, Apr 7 (Reuters) – The Mexican government warned on Tuesday that there is a deficit of doctors in the country to deal with the coronavirus, which has so far left 125 dead and nearly 2,500 infections in Mexico, despite the fact that the speed of spread has not yet reached its peak.

Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer said the shortage of medical professionals is close to 200,000, but it is being compensated by urgent recruitment and training of personnel.

“There is a deficit of 200,000 doctors, there were, of which 123,000 are general doctors … and around 76,000 are specialist doctors,” he said during President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s daily press conference.

Alcocer stressed that one of the fields where medical professionals are lacking is that of inhalationists, in charge of supporting patients with lung diseases when using respirators such as those required to counteract the effects of the coronavirus.

López Obrador stressed that Mexico is the second country in the world with the least number of people infected with the virus in proportion to the size of its population, but reiterated its demand for the population to remain at home because “the most difficult phase is coming” of the outbreak in the country .

For his part, the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López-Gatell, said at the same conference that “the epidemic continues to rise and will continue to rise until it reaches its maximum in mid-May or at the end of May.”

The coronavirus, an outbreak that emerged in China late last year, has infected more than 1.3 million people and killed more than 74,000 around the planet.

(Report by Raúl Cortés Fernández, edited by Ana Isabel Martínez)