Notwithstanding Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s assertion that scholarships for interns will be deposited in their entirety, the guild did not withdraw from the national strike scheduled for July 31st, since their movement goes beyond scholarships, they said. In addition, they claim that the federal government has not pursued rapprochement to solve their demands.
In contrast, the Ministry of Health (SSA) issued a press release in which it emphasized that it has not received any list of requests from the interns in Social Service, and that scholarships are a priority for this administration and will not be suspended nor their amounts cut.
Roberto Gallardo, member of the Mexican Assembly of Medical Interns in Social Service (AMMPSS), said to EL UNIVERSAL that, starting from today, the more than 50,000 graduates in medicine should start their Social Service, however, they ignore both were and when they will do it.
“Today, the more than 54,000 graduates in medicine nationwide should be starting their social service, but it won’t be like that because there was not a good allocation of places in the states; the movement goes beyond scholarships; it’s not just about money but for them to see and know the conditions in which we work; there are very strong security issues; we’re responsible for the health facilities that do not have equipment and consumables; all this goes unnoticed,” he expressed.
The young student who is doing his internship in Baja California Sur lamented the comments of the president and asserted that as of now no member of the federal government has looked for rapprochement with them.
“By saying that scholarships won’t be cut, the President suggests that our protest and national strike are not justified, a deputy secretary even said it like that, that they had already spoken to us and that there were no valid reasons for us to protest and do a national strike, but that is not true; the president says that there are resources, but they say otherwise in the State Services, and we’re left in the air.”
The protest will be nationwide, but the medical interns will try not to affect the transit. In Mexico City, the guild will leave at 10:00 a.m. from Downtown to the SSA. “We’ll move about in the sidewalk; we want to make clear that we mean no harm to the people.”
About the strike, he said that it had already started and detailed that in rural facilities only emergencies are being attended and the chronically ill are given medicines.
The intern invited his colleagues to join the protest, and universities and health facilities not to retaliate. “We don’t want them to give us money, that is not the main objective, nor are the scholarships, but the uncertainty of not knowing where our colleagues will do their social service because it is a degree requirement; it is having the certainty that in case of going to marginalized areas we’re not going to be robbed or beaten, and that we’ll have support if it happens,” he said.
Karen Arteaga, member of the Communications Committee of the National Assembly of Medical Residents said in interview that they will support and accompany their colleagues. “Usually, the money issue is the trigger of movements because they have expenses, but it’s not about that. It’s about them being heard, about their reality as interns being known and of finding synergy to improve the conditions of their social service.”
In this respect, the SSA reiterated that “no student fulfilling his social service will be unprotected since there will be no reduction or suspension of the resources for this means.”
Through a release, the SSA said that it has not had rapprochement with the interns. “No list of requirements has been received from any organization, assembly or any other association of students or interns of medicine. It must be known that the doctors that have been spokesmen of the movements of medical interns in social service are not grant holders of the SSA,” it said.
It reiterated that it has budgetary sufficiency to solve the 52,250 scholarships for 2019, the same amount granted in 2018 and 2017. “Right now, there are 34,000 interns of medicine doing their social service and they have their respective scholarship, and there are enough resources to grant 17,000 more.”
The Ministry, led by Jorge Alcocer, explained that the kind of scholarship is defined by the economic area of the health unit in which the student will do his service. The one that perceives the less is given to those who do it in marginalized areas.