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Cancun public doctors opting for private sector due to poor wages

Cancun, Q.R. — A lack of job stability and noncompetitive salaries has seen a flood of Cancun’s public doctors opt for the private sector.

Cancun’s medical specialists are leaving the public health institutions for private clinics and hospitals, says Hilario Soriano Valdés, president of the College of Physicians of Quintana Roo. He says that many of these doctors have the specialties the public institutions are legally required to have.

“Public health institutions have the obligation to provide specialties as part of their services. If they do not have them, they ask other specialist doctors who have the most experience with the lacking specialty to attend to patients. That’s what they do,” he explained.

Although Cancún is an attractive city for doctors, the salaries offered by the public health sector is not so great. Many public health doctors are paid a salary of 7,500 peso for every two-weeks worked. That’s about $820 USD per month at the current exchange rate.

“The lack of doctors is surprising, but they do not want to work in the Ministry of Health because they are hired for fees which results in a poorly paid doctor,” said Soriano Valdés.

The institutions have their budgets, he admitted, but they don’t not hire doctors because they don’t have money. Everything depends on how the state manages this money to ensure the resources reach the health institutions.

The doctor noted that public hospitals have many shortcomings and also do not meet official standards, especially in regards to hospital equipment of various levels.

“This is already a known issue by the Ministry of Health and the state authorities, but they do not resolve the issues saying it is up to the government to resolve these problems. The doctor does what he can,” he said.