A Cuban doctor has been shot dead at a hospital in a rough neighborhood on the outskirts of Mexico City, prosecutors in the state of Mexico confirmed late Monday.
The doctor, whose name was not disclosed, was murdered Friday along with a nurse and another woman at a hospital in the suburb of Ecatepec.
The killing comes after criticism of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s plan to hire hundreds of Cuban doctors to work where Mexican doctors are unavailable, or in areas where they don’t want to work because they are too dangerous or too remote.
The Cuban doctor killed in Ecatepec was not part of the current recruiting program, but his death raised questions about the plan’s safety.
Prosecutors in the state of Mexico, which borders Mexico City, said two gunmen entered the hospital early Friday morning and asked for a female patient at the front desk.
Unable to locate her, the gunmen forced the receptionist to open the door to a second-floor medical room, where they opened fire, killing the nurse and another woman and wounding the doctor.
The doctor later died of his injuries at another hospital. Local media said the other victim was a woman visiting a family member who was undergoing treatment.
Mexican gangs have been known to enter hospitals at gunpoint to finish off injured rivals, and Mexico has also faced a spate of violence against medical personnel.
In July, medical school graduates and residents across the country protested the July 15 death of 24-year-old Erick David Andrade in the northern state of Durango while treating a patient.
He was just days away from completing the mandatory term of barely paid “social service” required for graduates of Mexican med schools before embarking on an internship or residency.
On July 11, an anesthesiologist from a national government hospital was shot dead at her home in the neighboring state of Chihuahua.
That same month, two paramedics were murdered while transporting a patient in the same violence-ravaged northern state.
Meanwhile, critics have filed injunctions against the plan to hire more than 500 specialist doctors from Cuba, more than 100 of whom have already arrived and are working in the western states of Nayarit and Colima.
The order alleges that the government has failed to prove that the doctors have the skills or training necessary to practice in Mexico, and argued that most of the doctors’ pay could go to the Cuban government, not the government. medical professionals themselves.
On Tuesday, López Obrador defended the program, saying Mexico did not have enough specialists.
“It is absurd and irrational that people doubt that Cuban specialist doctors come to Mexico in solidarity with us,” the president said.