President of Mexico City Wrestling El Fantasma and Mexican Health Secretary Dr. Armando Ahued Ortega have just signed a historic agreement that could change the entire wrestling industry in Mexico. Professional wrestlers in Mexico (and their families) will now be covered by a medical social insurance program. Via Fightnetwork.com:
“I am big fan of wrestling, I think this is an intense but also a risky sport. The knocks and blows affect them bit by bit, so it is very so important for them being covered by free medical expenses,” said Ahued.
Dr. Ahued also explained that this insurance will give wrestlers and their families access to clinics and hospital where they will be able to have medical tests including x-rays, MRIs, surgery, lab studies, and medical attention.
El Fantasma was overjoyed at the news:
For me, the most important factor is the physical integrity and well being of our colleagues. This is a great achievement we have been looking for since wrestling’s inception. Thank God it has finally happened.
It’s estimated that this program will cover roughly 5000 workers and their families. I can’t state enough how incredible this news is. In a business where pro wrestlers who work for billion dollar American company aren’t provided basic health insurance, not to mention the independent wrestlers who have to cover their own (and often don’t), the idea that these things would be covered is amazing. The dangers of in-ring work are more than apparent, and a lot of workers end up losing their careers because they’ve ignored/worked through injuries they absolutely shouldn’t simply because they can’t afford to get them taken care of. It’s terrible and incredibly dumb, but it’s also been done for so long that nobody thinks twice about it. Let’s hope this helps set a better precedent, because the way things have always been in wrestling isn’t always the greatest of ideas.