Red Cross, paramedics and healthcare workers in Mexico must be treated with respect, they are saving lives

The number of assaults on paramedics and healthcare workers in Mexico City is concerning the ICRC and the Mexican Red Cross. During this pandemic, solidarity and comprehension are fundamental, however, many citizens do not appreciate the presence of ambulances and attacks against paramedics are growing.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Mexican Red Cross are greatly worried about the rising number of attacks on paramedics and healthcare workers in Mexico. They released an official communication on the 12th of May, in order to spread the awareness of this dramatic phenomenon.

Assaults against paramedics and healthcare workers in Mexico, the fight against the coronavirus and…the same citizens

“During the coronavirus crisis, it becomes necessary to display solidarity, humanity and kindness”, this is what the ICRC and Mexican Red Cross declared in a note. “Medical staff should be treated with respect and appreciation”.

The increasing number of assaults to paramedics and healthcare workers all over Mexico is really critical. They are workers in public and private hospitals, ambulance drivers and colleagues in the Mexican Red Cross attacked by certain people who regard them as potential sources of infection.

Jordi Raich, head of the ICRC regional delegation for Mexico and Central America, declared that the figures supplied by the Mexican Ministry of the Interior (link at the end of the article) showed that, by April, at least 27 attacks on healthcare workers had been recorded in 22 states.

The drama is that many of the attacks had been directed against nursing staff (80% of recorded cases) and women (70% of recorded cases). The government department stated that the usual pattern is to spray the person with cleaning liquid, often chlorine, and to bar access to public transport or shops. The worst, albeit isolated, cases include death threats, one involving a firearm.


Assaults against paramedics and healthcare workers in Mexico, the ICRC and Mexican Red Cross ask for respect

Paramedic staff, healthcare workers and vehicles carrying patients must be respected and protected at all times. this is what the ICRC and Mexican Red Cross state. Fernando Suinaga Cárdenas, President of the Mexican Red Cross, called on society to show respect for paramedics and for healthcare workers in general throughout the country because their humanitarian work is of paramount importance to saving lives in the health emergency caused by COVID-19.

He declared that the country’s pre-hospital and medical services are offering a lifeline to thousands of Mexicans at the moment. It is so essential to appreciate, respect and recognize their work because they are on the front line of the emergency.

Now the Mexican Red Cross is training more than 17,000 volunteers and has adhered to a Biosafety Manual in its 32 state delegations. The aims are two: provide paramedics with unambiguous guidance, ensuring their safety when carrying suspected coronavirus cases in ambulances, and to see that volunteers’ safety equipment inspires the population’s trust in their life-saving work.


Assaults against paramedics and healthcare workers in Mexico, the importance of healthcare access

Access to healthcare is very important and the ICRC and Mexican Red Cross are working hard to improve this aspect. It is at the base of human rights and dignity. Injuring or assaulting medical personnel, like paramedics, nurses or healthcare workers, in general, can hamper many people’s right to access health care.

Jordi Raich reminded us that the real heroes of this pandemic are not film stars, but health personnel: nurses, doctors, paramedics and hospital cleaners. They are risking their lives and that of their families each day, to care for us and to heal us. Treat them with respect.



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Mexican Ministry of Interior

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