Front view of Hospital General de Cozumel with disabled parking spots and tropical trees under a clear sky.

“Breaking: Cozumel Hospital Faces Legal Battle Over Leprosy Care!”

A woman in Cozumel is currently engaged in a legal battle for better healthcare at the Cozumel General Hospital. Six months after a significant court decision regarding health rights, the hospital has been directed to adhere to the ruling that ensures medical treatment for María G.C., a patient diagnosed with leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease.

In September, the Second District Court of Quintana Roo determined that the care María was receiving did not meet the necessary standards to guarantee her constitutional right to health. The judge presiding over the case has now issued a new order requiring the hospital to follow the guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Operational Manual for the Prevention and Control of Leprosy.

This manual outlines a set of procedures for the identification, diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of the disease, including post-treatment monitoring. According to the judge, the hospital has not been adequately conducting this surveillance. The state health services head for Quintana Roo has been ordered to report on the potential for María's disease to be contagious to others, and to comply with the ruling within three days.

This case began with a lack of medical attention in July of the previous year, which led María to request a protection order. Despite an initial ruling that ordered immediate and adequate treatment, an evaluation in November 2023 revealed shortcomings in her care. María was referred to the National Center for Preventive Programs and Disease Control (Cenaprece) for treatment, with the court order stipulating that medication delivery should be supervised until her full recovery. However, due to inadequate follow-up, a new court order has been issued.

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On a national scale, the federal Ministry of Health reported approximately 300 new cases of leprosy in Mexico in 2023. While the disease is curable, proper management is critical to prevent severe complications. The situation in Quintana Roo, with only two cases recorded in 2024, highlights the challenges of managing rare diseases and the need to enhance public health policies to ensure patient rights are upheld.

The health system in Quintana Roo is now under scrutiny for its ability to handle rare diseases and to comply with legal mandates protecting the fundamental rights of its citizens.

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