Some hospital employees are being furloughed, and others are seeking approval for recruitment to health centers. However, Mexico's front line workers are demanding to go on strike unless the Mexican Social Security Institute, also known as IMSS, director Zoé Robledo presents the proper provisions that guarantee the safety of the personnel.

As early as last March, medical workers from Mexico have started a protest due to insufficient supplies and equipment at increased risk of COVID-19. Without proper protective gear, the doctors and nurses will not be able to treat patients.

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Protests for the provision of PPEs

Chants of "¡Queremos material!" filled the street of Tlatelolco near the IMSS Zone 27 General Hospital on March 19, according to reports by Politica.

Head of the IMSS employee's union, Dr. Armando Rosales Torres, explains Robledo's response to their protest is still pending. According to the government, Mexico bought from China $56.6 million worth of personal protective equipment for front line hospital workers. Still, Rosales and his colleagues are yet to receive any of the provisions.

Rosales adds that he and other members of the union find themselves in a precarious situation in IMSS hospitals since the risks of becoming infected is high "due to their exposure to those infected with the coronavirus."

On March 24, the medical personnel was protesting for the shortage of PPEs. One of the nurses explained that this was not a simple boycott. The only reason that held them back from working was the lack of medical equipment and supplies. 

Health workers assembled the next day to protest at Zone I General Regional Hospital in Mexico City to raise their concerns. Because of their persistence, the IMSS declared they would hold training for staff in a Strategic Contingency Plan for Attention to COVID-19.


Last Wednesday, a group of health workers congregated at a Puebla hospital to lob complaints about the management. On his social media accounts, Rosales posted about the lack of equipment, preventive measures, and leadership on the health service of the system.

In fact, during the protest itself, the day of, punches were thrown between the staff and the officials.

Complaints were thrown at local health union leader Sergio Herrera Vázquez. Among the concerns were the inadequate equipment and irresponsible handling of infected hospital staff. Nurses raised the point that some of the officers were refusing to give PPE even at the heightened risk of the coronavirus. They claimed that even the 20% salary bonus was not enough to compensate for the risk they were taking.

At this point, there was absolute pandemonium. People filming the entire discussion were launched by security guards of the hospital, including a cameraman from TV station Imagen Televisión.

On that same day, Robledo was interviewed on television. He acknowledged the concerns of the health workers but insisted that most of the company's hospitals had more than enough medical supplies and equipment to go around.

Rosales said that should the response take more than a weekend, front line medical workers all across the country will go on a strike.

"We cannot continue like this, especially now as we enter phase three of the virus."