Physicians Urge Mexican Government to Restore Order in Juarez

(16.12.10) The World Medical Association has appealed to the Mexican Government to restore order in the north Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez where physicians are being blackmailed, kidnapped and killed in drug related violence.

Dr. Federico Marin, the President of the Mexican Medical Association, has urged the WMA to intervene to help the physicians in Jurarez. He told the WMA: ‘Due to the escalating violence and now the kidnapping of physicians, it has become impossible for the physicians in Juarez to provide medical care without threat to themselves. They have had to organise a work stoppage to bring attention to this issue.'

Dr. Wonchat Subhachaturas, President of the WMA, strongly condemned the violence facing physicians. This year three medical workers have been killed and 11 kidnapped.

He said: ‘Physicians have an ethical duty to care for their patients and governments have a duty to ensure that appropriate conditions exist to allow physicians to care for their patients. The situation in Jurarez appears to be out of control, threatening physicians and preventing them from carrying out their clinical work.

‘The fact that this week thousands of doctors and health workers in Ciudad Juarez went on a 24-hour strike in protest at the high number of threats and attacks they are subjected to shows how desperate the situation has become. The government's inability to curtail drug-cartel violence is unacceptable.'

Physicians in the city are calling for more soldiers and the Mexican federal police to bring the violence under control and the WMA and its national medical association members are urging the Mexican Government to listen to what physicians are saying.