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Because the governor wouldn't need the Red Cross

Tijuana healthcare provider lays off employees, gasoline bill looms

Tijuana's Red Cross, which operates a "pay if you're able" trauma center/hospital and a citywide fleet of ambulances, has laid off 16 employees in an attempt to survive a major financial crisis.

A cutoff in funding by state government and a downturn in donations from the public have combined to create a $3 million peso shortfall (about $230,800) for the current year, Carlos Rubio Arreola, president of the Red Cross' board of trustees, told a recent meeting of the Tijuana civic club Grupo Madrugadores.

As a consequence, Rubio told the group, 16 Red Cross employees lost their jobs — 3 first-aid workers, 3 "hospital employees," and 10 administrative staff members, according to an October 10 account of the meeting in El Sol de Tijuana.

The personnel cuts were determined to be the best way for the Red Cross to continue operations without lessening services to the public, Rubio said.

The Red Cross is a major source of health care in Tijuana. Its 21-bed hospital includes eight emergency-room beds, a six-bed ICU, and three operating rooms. According to its website, the organization handles 60 percent of all trauma calls in the city. Last year, a fleet of Red Cross ambulances based in eight stations across the city answered more than 37,000 calls for service. There is no charge for ambulance service.

Now, said Rubio, some of those ambulances may be sidetracked if the Red Cross doesn't find the money to buy gasoline for them.

So far this year, Rubio said, the Red Cross has attended to 21,000 patients, answered 29,000 calls for ambulance service, and had 700 hospitalizations.

Rubio told members of Grupo Madrugadores that in recent weeks he has repeatedly asked for a meeting with Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega to discuss the urgency of the Red Cross' situation since no state funding has been forthcoming as in previous years. So far, he said, the governor's staff has told him that Vega's agenda has been too full to permit such a meeting.

(headlines corrected 10/14, 3 p.m.)

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Tijuana's Red Cross, which operates a "pay if you're able" trauma center/hospital and a citywide fleet of ambulances, has laid off 16 employees in an attempt to survive a major financial crisis.

A cutoff in funding by state government and a downturn in donations from the public have combined to create a $3 million peso shortfall (about $230,800) for the current year, Carlos Rubio Arreola, president of the Red Cross' board of trustees, told a recent meeting of the Tijuana civic club Grupo Madrugadores.

As a consequence, Rubio told the group, 16 Red Cross employees lost their jobs — 3 first-aid workers, 3 "hospital employees," and 10 administrative staff members, according to an October 10 account of the meeting in El Sol de Tijuana.

The personnel cuts were determined to be the best way for the Red Cross to continue operations without lessening services to the public, Rubio said.

The Red Cross is a major source of health care in Tijuana. Its 21-bed hospital includes eight emergency-room beds, a six-bed ICU, and three operating rooms. According to its website, the organization handles 60 percent of all trauma calls in the city. Last year, a fleet of Red Cross ambulances based in eight stations across the city answered more than 37,000 calls for service. There is no charge for ambulance service.

Now, said Rubio, some of those ambulances may be sidetracked if the Red Cross doesn't find the money to buy gasoline for them.

So far this year, Rubio said, the Red Cross has attended to 21,000 patients, answered 29,000 calls for ambulance service, and had 700 hospitalizations.

Rubio told members of Grupo Madrugadores that in recent weeks he has repeatedly asked for a meeting with Baja California Gov. Francisco Vega to discuss the urgency of the Red Cross' situation since no state funding has been forthcoming as in previous years. So far, he said, the governor's staff has told him that Vega's agenda has been too full to permit such a meeting.

(headlines corrected 10/14, 3 p.m.)

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Comments
13

Someone needs to take another look at this headline. The story refers to wanting a meeting with the governor of Baja California, not the mayor. The mayor of TJ isn't mentioned at all in the story.

Oct. 14, 2014

The Red Cross is funded by the State, not the City. No idea what the original headline stated, but the only thing the Mayor can do is beg. And my personal opinion (your mileage may vary but I've lived here for over two decades now) is that it's necessary. I wouldn't want to need to go there because the care is very poor, but in a pinch many here need it.

Oct. 14, 2014

So, refried, just where would you go in TJ? Inquiring minds want to know.

Oct. 14, 2014

To the liquor store around the corner.

Seriously, Mexicans do have options. The first line of insurance defense is the Clinicas here. If you work and make money above the table, it's open to you. Totally government sponsored, sounds great, but it's a little sub-standard. They also have a program here much like the Obama-care over there, but cheaper, a better choice but you have to pay a little for it. And the best care is private care, always available. But the Red Cross option in an emergency when impoverished is sort of necessary for some of the poor here who make a living in places where everything is under the table and off of the radar.

I'm not a Mexican, so I don't qualify for any of that. And I wouldn't go to Red Cross here unless my limbs fell off, it isn't good care. But I do see the necessity of it, and I hope the State of Baja funds it to the extent that they are able.

Oct. 14, 2014

Let's clear up some misconceptions from the eternally ignorant who reside in Mexico and spout rumors instead of facts. First of all, the Mexican Red Cross is a non-governmental, not-profit organization which receives absolutely no governmental funding. The Mexican Red Cross is funded entirely by private donations. Mexico's laws actually prohibit the government from being involved in the Red Cross.

Secondly, the Tijuana Red Cross chapter has been notoriously corrupt and this corruption has been reported by Zeta. For instance, the head of the Tijuana Red Cross, Fernando Esquer, was caught selling off equipment and pocketing the cash. In another area, he was "selling" the right to his Red Cross employees to collect money in the boot on the street corners. The price was each employee had to pay Esquer $40 per day for the right to collect, and the employee got to keep the rest. That's correct, none of the money collected on the street was going to the Red Cross.

This was such a scandal, the paramedics were banned from collecting donations in 2010. Of course, following standard Mexican practices, absolutely nothing was done about the monies taken from the Red Cross.

Oct. 15, 2014

Irrespective of the corruption, the State funds many projects in Tijuana that aren't constitutional. Do you really live here? Prostitution is illegal, but I look right out of this hotel window every single day and night, and there it is! And the local Government collects revenue from their "health cards", which are required in order to continue to practice something that is illegal. The clubs are supposed to close no later than 3am and aren't permitted to open until 10am, but when I have a hangover that can only be cured by some "hair of the dog" then why can I go to a number of bars here and cure myself at 6am? And don't tell me there aren't cops to enforce it, there are more in my neck of the woods than anywhere in Tijuana. Stores stop selling liquor at midnight (by law), but guess what? No need to go on.

Calling Mexico "corrupt" is easy. And the State certainly WAS supplying the Red Cross with SOME funding. So, if you KNOW that THIS is wrong, yet you also know that there is corruption, why would you think for a minute that it was a rumor? The Red Cross received government funding, through whatever means, legally or not. I'm not telling you it's right or lawful or constitutional or whatever other stuff you're looking for here, but since you seem very knowledgeable concerning other aspects of Baja, I'm sort of surprised that you are surprised.

Oct. 15, 2014

(1) Prostitution in not illegal in Mexico. Pimping is illegal. (2) Clubs can purchase a special license from Tijuana to stay open after hours, which costs them more money. That is why they are open. (3)The Red Cross gets money from public school student contributions, and the state is the conduit, but it is not state money, it is private money.

If you would spend the time to learn Spanish and understand the country you live in, and stay out of bars at 3AM, you might learn something. You cannot learn about Mexico from a bartender.

Oct. 16, 2014

I've lived here for 22 years, speak Spanish very well, put 3 kids through school here, and apparently understand Mexican law better than you do, Fulano. (1)Prostitution is illegal in any form. (2)Clubs USED to be able to purchase a license, that comes and goes. Also, smoking in a bar is now illegal. But NOT IN ZONA NORTE! Except it is. You really have no understanding of how this place works. (3)All moneys acquired from schools belong to the State, because education is not a local concern, it is run by the State. When you sign your kids up for school here, they collect a "voluntary" fee. Except if you don't pay up, your kids don't go to school. Those funds are STATE funds. The STATE gets to do with it whatever they wish, whether that's legal or not. Dude, you are presuming too much about me.

I'm beginning to doubt you live here. You're very disconnected to what the reality of Tijuana is.

Oct. 16, 2014

Also, when the City needs revenue and offers these "licenses" that you speak of, they actually aren't licenses. They are fines. The City can't legally offer exceptions, so they go around it by not closing the businesses and accept the fine instead. Other times (depending on revenue), they let the cantinas know that the deal is off, they'll close the businesses until they pay a HEFTY fee. Don't you know how this place works?

Oct. 16, 2014

OK, since you have lived in Mexico for 22 years and are fluent in Spanish, you should have no trouble at all showing us the Penal Code section which makes prostitution illegal.

So, please show us all where it says prostitution is illegal. I'll tell you right now it is not at Chapter IV, Article 267. That only makes pandering (pimping) illegal. OK, now, give us the Penal Code that says prostitution is illegal. We can wait.

To help you out, here is a link to the Baja California Penal Code:

www.ordenjuridico.gob.mx/Estatal/BAJA%20CALIFORNIA/Codigos/BCOD05.pdf

Oct. 17, 2014

I'm busy. Instead, why don't you tell everyone the difference between decriminalization and illegal? You're apparently a genius about Mexican law. Enrich us! Prostitution isn't legal in Mexico. If it were, there would be no need for a Zona de Tolerancia. Prostitution is illegal, pimping is illegal, and running a whore house is illegal. Okay, now, give us the penal code that makes prostitution legal. Take a year, you won't find it.

I would send you a useless link about State laws, but since Mexico is a Republic, the States are limited as to how far outside of the box they get to roam. I'm not going to hold your hand, you go figure out why prostitution is illegal here, yet there are certain areas where it's permitted. Easy proof of that is to drive down to 5 y 10 and beyond and tell me how many hookers you see. None. Regardless of sporting a health card, they would be arrested. Now, anyone who lives here knows these things. You obviously don't.

Oct. 21, 2014

"I'm busy"? Is that what passes for a cogent response in Mexico? You know it is illegal, but cannot find the law that says so. You just "know." You want the penal code that makes prostitution legal? Penal codes tell you what is illegal. How would you like to write the laws saying what is legal? How many possible things can a human being do? Do you think you can list them all to make them legal?

Jeeze what a Neanderthal.

Oct. 25, 2014

That's what I love and see as part of the charm of Mexico: nobody knows wtf the rules are.

Oct. 26, 2014

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