Travel nursing jobs are on the rise in Mexico and the US, with demand increasing as US President Donald Trump’s travel ban is lifted.
As the US re-opens borders following a temporary suspension, healthcare workers are scrambling to find new jobs in Mexico.
According to a study by the Mexico-based Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), demand for nurses in the country jumped 8% between August and September.
But that surge has been driven by an influx of US workers and their families, which have been able to cross the border.
According the IOSH, there were 1.2 million registered nurses in Mexico between January and September this year, an increase of nearly 2,000 people compared to the same period in 2016.
Mexico’s healthcare sector is already struggling with the aftermath of the US travel ban.
A shortage of doctors and nurses has made it difficult for doctors and hospital administrators to meet demand for their services.
In September, the country’s healthcare minister said the country was “at the point where we are not able to provide basic healthcare for our people.”
“If you are looking for an occupation, you can’t go into nursing, and you cannot find an occupation that is open to US nationals,” IOSHD spokesperson, Miguel Angel Lopez, told News24.
“It is not an easy occupation, but it is something that has been in the Mexican society for decades,” he added.
“We are looking to make it more competitive and create new opportunities.”
Lopez also said the government was “very concerned” about the situation for US nurses who are returning to the country.
According to the IASHS, demand for healthcare workers in Mexico is expected to rise by an average of 15% each year over the next decade.
The US healthcare system has faced increasing pressure from the US government and the media in recent years, with the Trump administration banning travel to the US for citizens from seven majority Muslim countries, and for the next two months also banning all refugees from entering the country and halting the US refugee program.
The US travel bans were imposed following a January 27 terror attack in Garland, Texas, that killed 14 people, including five US service members and a US contractor.
Following the Garland attack, the US President also suspended the resettlement of refugees into the country for 120 days, and a further 90 days for the duration of the suspension.
In September, a US judge in Texas ruled that the travel ban was illegal, citing the First Amendment, due process and equal protection.