Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES – In Brazil’s recent elections, the people had the opportunity to choose between a well-known politician, who would follow in the political footsteps of Luis Inacio “Lula” da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, and another politician who has become well-known for his own statements, as a supporter of Brazil’s fascist dictatorship in the past and an enemy of the Black population, women, homosexuals, in short anyone belonging to Brazil’s poorer classes.
When it was time to vote, voters didn’t bear in mind all of the things that Lula and Dilma’s governments did for them, taking millions of people out of poverty, reducing unemployment to its lowest rate (4.9%), who managed to successfully implement the “Zero Hunger” program, and hire thousands of foreign doctors in a coordinated effort with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) so as to put the “Mais Medicos” program into action, which took healthcare to over 2,800 municipalities where it didn’t previously exist.
The Brazilians who didn’t keep this in mind, have voted for and chosen a racist, misogynist, homophobe, xenophobe and an admirer of the fascist dictatorship, who (even before officially taking the reins) has managed to jeopardise the “Mais Medicos” program with just a few shameful statements made to Cuban doctors and by changing the agreement signed by the Brazilian government, the Pan American Health Organization and Cuba’s Public Health Ministry, leading Cuba to decide that it won’t continue to form part of the program and will withdraw its over 8,500 doctors who were working in this country.
As always, enemies of the Cuban Revolution, who don’t lose any opportunity to defame it, twisting the truth about what really happened, have begun their lies saying that Cuba is withdrawing its doctors because the president-elect wanted to pay doctors 100% of their wages and not pay anything to the Cuban State, when the truth is that Bolsonaro is questioning Cuban doctors’ training and is demanding that they validate their diplomas if they want to work in Brazil, ignoring the terms agreed with the PAHO, and also saying that doctors who want to work there should be hired individually calling Cuban doctors “slaves” and Cuba’s female doctors “women in a white coat” without any idea of what their qualifications are.
It’s easy for anyone with common sense to see that Cuba can’t continue to take part in this program (created by Dilma Rousseff to place doctors in every part of the country), under these conditions.
Arthur Chioro, a doctor and professor of Sao Paulo’s School of Medicine, who was the country’s Health Minister during Dilma Rousseff’s first term in office, made his opinion about what is happening in this field in Brazil clear:
“It’s a real tragedy for the lives and health of 30 million Brazilians. The health system of the 2,885 municipalities that form part of the “Mais Medicos” program and depend on Cuban doctors is about to collapse, especially in 1,575 municipalities that solely depend on this program’s doctors.
“International humiliation is shaking up the country’s relationship with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and it will lead to a landscape of widespread mistrust in its relations with other countries, Brazil’s partners in countless other health projects.
“Basic medical attention is able to take care of 80% of the reasons why someone seeks out healthcare services. All of this will be lost and the people who need the Single Health System (SUS) the most will be the ones to pay for this, thanks to the president-elect’s absolute lack of training, who is incapable of measuring his words.
“Most Brazilian doctors don’t want to or don’t know how to provide general healthcare. They only trained to become specialists, in an elitist, restrictive model that isn’t committed to society. They aren’t worried about the 30 million Brazilians who will end up without access to a doctor.
“By throwing into question the skills and veracity of Cuban doctors’ training and by imposing changes to the way the Mais Médicos program (PMM) hires doctors and works, in a unilateral, authoritarian and inconsistent way, showing no respect for established negotiation routes and the sovereignty of a partner country, has led to the PMM and SUS collapse, and along with them, the hopes of millions of Brazilians have also come crashing down.
“Stupidity has won. Brazil has lost. I can only apologize to Cuban doctors and the Cuban people, as well as thank them for everything they did for our people.”
These are the opinions of an expert on the subject, who is concerned about the health of his people, and his words reveal exactly who the person is to blame for this grave situation today.