At the National Institute of Rehabilitation, a third-level hospital, there are rooms without a single patient, such as one of Pediatric Orthopedic Hospitalization. There the four beds are empty and on the floor accumulate, almost as in the cellar, service tables, lamps, wheelchairs.
To the empty rooms are added the cracked walls throughout the institution. These are the effects of the 2017 earthquake, which remain unrepaired here. The ceilings leak in crucial areas such as the blood bank and x-ray labs. There are unserviced baths and areas with little lighting for lack of spotlights. The furniture is old, and broken.
Read more: Human errors and non-theft, the cause in short of medicines at Hospital 20 de Noviembre, says ISSSTE
From the National Institute of Rehabilitation, patients and staff have complaints of all kinds: doctors who send their patients to buy with a specific provider, commercial spaces within the hospital that are awarded direct, old furniture, lack of supplies and materials, equipment that does not work, excessive charges to patients, corruption in the union and even structural failures in the building.
All these irregularities, the staff say, have crawled from years ago, to 10, since the last of the sixteenyears of Felipe Calderón’s sixteenth year.
If a patient requires surgery here in Rehabilitation has to pay between 30 thousand and 50 thousand pesos in material, which includes everything from disposable robes and gloves to instruments for traumatology: nails, screws; in addition to the recovery fee which is about 5 thousand pesos.
In the Hospital there are rooms that are empty and sosn used as a warehouse
This, despite the fact that in 2019 alone, the National Institute of Rehabilitation had a budget of almost 1.4 billion pesos.
Animal Político asked the Ministry of Health for an interview with the director, José Clemente Ibarra Ponce de León, but at the close of this edition there was no response.
«In the material they ask for is the business of doctors, some have commercial houses through their families, others receive benefits for sending them clients,» a dozen employees of this institution report in an interview.
A user of INR, whom we will call Fernando, says that he was asked for something called Plates in 8, to place them on his 12-year-old son.
«He’s growing one leg more than the other, he needs surgery to put these plates on him, but I was asked to buy them at a specific commercial house and each one, my son needs two, it costs 7 thousand 500 pesos. I don’t have that money, I asked the doctor if I can find another provider to see if it’s cheaper and he said no, that they would better reschedule the surgery to ensure the quality of the material.»
Such demands and collections have emptied half the beds. «Patients can’t afford everything they’re required to buy, so there are already unused areas of hospitalization,» says one of the nurses.
Political Animal was able to prove it. On a tour of more than four hours through Rehabilitation, carried out with the support of staff from various areas, from maintenance to doctors.
One of the social workers says there is a list of 240 patients for joint reconstruction. «And they’re only having about four surgeries a week because most of those people don’t have to pay for everything they’re asked to acquire, plus the hospital fee.»
In addition, patients are not guaranteed that the material they purchase is used with them. «They reuse things that should only be used once, such as razor tips, which are to shape the knees. Those cost about 7,000 pesos. They ask the patient and the new ones who know what they do, because they use old ladies, who are just sterilized,» says one of the therapists.
There’s also a lot of equipment rent that was previously owned by the institution and they took them, says a nurse. There is inside the hospital until a public parking lot and what is charged no one knows where to stop, there is a cafeteria, a bank inside the hospital, those spaces are not tendered, they are awarded directly, denounces almost to chorus the group of workers.
«This has been more than a decade and has been worse in recent years,» says a nurse.
The direction of the Institute has been in the hands of a family. The current director, who is about to serve five years in office, is José Clemente Ibarra Ponce de León. Before him his father, Luis Guillermo Ibarra Ibarra, stayed in the direction for a decade.
Staff report that the current director was apparently elected in a vote, but there was coercion, including dismissals of those who opposed him to take office.
You may be interested: Pharmacy of the General Hospital sells more expensive medicines than in supermarkets; overprice is a mistake, he responds
This one day is going to thunder
The structural problems of the institute also include physical ones, there are even walls where separations are seen. «Civil Protection came to check the building after the 2017 earthquake and said there was no danger, but there are a lot of cracks and everything thunders very ugly when it trembles,» says one maintenance employee.
Cracks at the Institute of Rehabilitation
Leaks are another problem. There are at least three large blood banks in the institution’s Blood Bank, which already cause detachment of the plaster. There are also in the X-ray area, even in a room where equipment is found that, according to the staff, cost between 500 thousand and a million and a half pesos.
There is also a lighting problem in that area. Half the lamps are useless. In the dressing room area, where patients must exchange their clothes for gowns, no focus works. «I’ve already reported it, but I was told that’s fine, that if it’s dark the patients can less see each other,» says one of the technicians.
In Audiology, although many patients find it difficult to climb steps or use wheelchairs, there are no ramps to enter the study booths, what there is a kind of high metal step. «We’ve had to carry patients with everything and a chair to get them in, with the risk of falling or going through any accident,» says one of them.
He also reports that they used to have high-tech ear-washing equipment in this area. «Those took them to another area, to AN ortono, and here they brought us others that are useless, they are so useless that we use them just to put the bags or backpacks.»
In the Blood Bank there is an equal equipment, which only serves to put packages. «There are two mixers where the bags of blood are placed to separate the plasma, from those only one works, the other has been standing for a while,» says one employee of that place.
The furniture of most of the Institute is already battered, from the chairs of the waiting rooms, to the armchairs where they sit patients for the studies, to the mattresses of the hospital beds.
«Many of the mattresses are up to 10 years old, and the chairs are so old and sloppy that we have had bedbug pests, they have had to come fumigating,» says a nurse.
The furniture of most of the Institute is already mistreated.
In the engine room, staff say that half the pumps to bring water to the floors are useless. «We’ve still been able to maintain supply, but if they break down any more, we’re not going to be able to.»
Boilers are over 20 years old, and they no longer work well. Patients are starting to pay for that. Rosa, a woman with a spinal condition, had been given 10 tank therapy sessions, in a kind of pool, 100 pesos each, paid for them, but never gave them to her. «We went four days in a row several people and they couldn’t give them to us because the boiler didn’t work, the better they moved us to another type of therapy.»
Find out? Medical desamine in Veracruz: «I sold my property to save my son with cancer»
What about the Rehabilitation Union?
Staff also report alleged acts of corruption in the union and collusion with the directors of the Institute. «There is no mechanism of scale, to move up, no calls are published or contests are made, only the person who is going to ascend is appointed and it is already totally discretionary,» says one of the dietitians.
In maintenance, for example, denounces one member of that team, there should be 95 people between the two shifts, morning and afternoon, but «we actually only show up to cover the functions about 30 people».
In reality, the union does not perform its functions, employees also say almost by chorus. «They know the precarious conditions in which we are obliged to work for all corruption and deabas in the Institute and do nothing. I don’t even have tongues to check on my patients, if I want to use them I should buy them because not even that provides us here,» says another therapist.
To close, employees say, «We don’t want to be believed. We want you to come and check what we’re saying, investigate what’s going on here. We want the Secretary of Health, Jorge Alcocer, and the Secretary of the Civil Service, Irma Eréndira Sandoval, to come. Managers are already preparing for certain areas, but we’re not going to allow any more lies.»
What we do in Animal Político requires professional journalists, teamwork, dialogue with readers and something very important: independence. You can help us keep going. Be part of the team.
Subscribe to Animal Politician, receive benefits and support free journalism.#YoSoyAnimal