We are publishing an article that will appear in the issue of the Rote Post No. 56 and was kindly provided to us in advance by the editorial staff for publication. In addition, we are publishing this article in Spanish and English translation. In the context of this article, we would like to refer again to the call of the comrades of "Current of the People - Red Sun" and the family of Dr. Ernesto Sernas García for the International Day of the Detained-Disappeared on the 30th of August.


The term "nursing emergency" has been on everyone's lips at least since the Corona pandemic. But even before spring 2020, everyone had an impression of what this term describes who once had to spend several hours in the emergency room because of a minor injury, looked in vain for one of the overworked and understaffed nurses on the ward during a hospital stay or had to accommodate relatives in a nursing home. "Nursing shortage" is nothing more than a ruined health system in which the focus is not anymore on the patient, but either on profit (for private hospitals) or on keeping everything as cheap as possible in order to burden the state coffers as little as possible (for public hospitals). Both are mainly achieved by squeezing the health workers to the maximum through low wages, constantly increased overtime and restructuring aimed at achieving this. The formula is simple: as few staff as possible must do as much work as possible. This has led to the fact that fewer and fewer people in Germany want to do this job for a long time, this leads to the fact that there are fewer and fewer nursing staff.

In Bremen, to solve the problem, they are now relying on the "import" of care workers from oppressed countries, at the moment mainly from Mexico. As has become known, senior employees of the municipal hospital company "Gesundheit Nord" (GeNo) have already flown to Mexico for this purpose at the end of 2020 in order to conduct job interviews there, i.e. to select who should have the "luck" of being exploited in Germany in the future. In 2021, the first Mexican nurses arrived in Bremen and started work at the Bremen-Center hospital. Plans are also being made to deploy foreign nursing staff at the other three GeNo sites, the Bremen-North, Bremen-East and Left side of the Weser hospitals.

In order to be allowed to enter Germany, the Mexican nurses still have to take a German course in Mexico, in addition to their job, and pass at least an examination for language level B1. Once they arrive in Germany, however, they still have to take a B2 exam before their professional qualification is fully recognised, i.e. before they are recognised as a so-called nursing specialist. However, they may or must start working immediately. They can study for the German exam while working. Until they pass the exam, they are employed as unskilled nursing assistants. So until they pass the language test (which has no effect on their medical knowledge) they are employed at a lower wage than they are actually entitled to according to their training. It should be noted that in Mexico - similar to many other countries in the world - the training to become a qualified care worker is done in a four-year course with a subsequent practical year. The qualification of the nursing staff is therefore very high. But in Germany, this is apparently only worth something when it says on a piece of paper that one speaks German.

In June, nine care workers from the Philippines also arrived in Bremen and are working at various GeNo hospitals. More from Iran, Tunisia and Bosnia are to join them this year. As GeNo itself states, it plans to bring up to 150 nurses from abroad over the next three years. A large part of them will come from Mexico; currently there are about 15 Mexicans working in GeNo's hospitals. Nursing students from India are also to be brought to Germany in future.

In order to get the Mexican nurses, the GeNo had applied to the "Agentur für Arbeit" (employment agency), which organises the "import" of foreign workers for German imperialism. Only in January of this year, the "Agentur für Arbeit" published a brochure entitled "Pflegekräfte für Deutschland" ("Care workers for Germany") in which it advertises its services. In particular, there is an ongoing programme to bring care workers from Mexico and Brazil to Germany. The agency writes: "So far we have accompanied 1,300 care workers from Mexico and Brazil on their way to Germany." The Mexican state is playing along with this sell-out of care workers, as the Federal Agency describes it: "In December 2021, the Federal Employment Agency was able to conclude a placement agreement with the Mexican labour administration, so that since then our applicants (and thus also employers) can benefit from a simplified entry process to Germany." The employment agency offers its services according to the motto "cheaper by the dozen" and writes: "You are interested in hiring at least 15 care workers [...]. If you are looking for fewer staff, this is also possible if other employers* in your region are interested in participating in the project. We will be happy to advise you on this!" According to its own information, advertising for hiring (or "recruitment", as the employment agency writes) in Mexico is currently being carried out in Mexico City, Monterrey (in the state of Nuevo León), Puebla (in the state of the same name), Guadalajara (in the state of Jalisco), Tuxtla Gutiérrez (in the state of Chiapas) and Chihuahua (in the state of the same name).

Doesn't Mexico need the care workers? This question could be asked because, on the one hand, Mexico allows countries like Germany to take care workers away from Mexico and, on the other hand, Germany keeps presenting itself as a country that stands up for human rights and supposedly wants only the best for the entire world population. Mexico does have one of the better health care systems of the Latin American countries, which is also due to the fact that it is worthwhile for many US citizens to receive treatment in Mexico because the costs for many treatments there are only a fraction of the costs in the USA. But although health care in the country of 129 million people is the right of every Mexican citizen according to Article 4 of the constitution, there are large gaps in coverage. Especially in areas where indigenous peoples live, such as the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, health care for the people is very bad. In global statistics, Mexico holds the sad record for deaths from treatable causes, 153 per 100,000 inhabitants, deaths from diseases and injuries that could be prevented by timely and effective health care. Also, deaths of women after childbirth - more than 34 deaths per 100,000 births - is still a major problem for the Mexican people. By comparison, the figure in Germany is 3.4 per 100,000 births, just one-tenth. In all cases, these figures are from 2019 (source: statista.com), before the Corona pandemic, which of course contributed to the actual need for more care workers instead of fewer. So the nurses could very well be needed in Mexico, but instead the old Mexican state prefers to sell them to Germany.

As the health system in Germany is basically financed and organised by the state, the state is constantly looking for ways to increase the exploitation of care workers' labour without incurring more costs and at the same time having enough care workers. Few well-trained staff are hotly contested among those who want and have to employ them. For as everything in this system is a commodity, so is the labour power of workers. Since Germany is an imperialist country, it looks for cheap labour not only in its own country, but all over the world. This is because the handful of imperialist countries in the world live as parasites on the backs of the great multitude of oppressed countries. The oppressed countries are exploited and oppressed by the imperialists. Not only raw materials are looted for the wealth and prosperity of the imperialist countries, but also labour power is "exported". Thus, while in Mexico sections of the people are dying of treatable diseases because they do not have access to adequate health care or women are forced to die after giving birth, at the same time Mexican nurses are working in German hospitals. One of many reasons why this parasitic system is not compatible with the live of the vast majority of humanity.