Skip to:

"‘Like a time bomb’: Tijuana’s hospitals under pressure and understaffed as coronavirus spreads"

The Los Angeles Times interviewed Arturo Vargas Bustamante, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health associate professor of health policy and management, about the pandemic’s impact on hospitals in Baja California, including the city of Tijuana. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

As Mexico faces rising numbers of coronavirus cases, Tijuana’s Clinica 20 is just one more public hospital fighting on the front lines. The five-story facility in central Tijuana has too few doctors, limited equipment and the expectation that the patient load will only grow.

“From the time we got our first patient until we were full, it took only 10 days,” said a doctor at Clinica 20. On the coronavirus ward, “many of the doctors and nurses are sick or on leave, and we have only about half the staff. Those who are there are working extremely hard, because there are few doctors and many patients with COVID-19.”

Three doctors at Clinica 20 agreed to talk anonymously about their working conditions in the busy hospital. They said they had been forbidden from speaking publicly and risked losing their jobs if they were identified.