Starting in June Cuban doctors working at home will begin to receive their new salaries. Photo: telesurtv.net

HAVANA TIMES — The government of Raul Castro adopted a wage hike for doctors working in Cuba that increases the income of the most qualified by more than 150 percent, according to information released today in the official media.

The long awaited measure sees the most highly trained specialists receiving the equivalent of US $60 a month, up from $23.  Nevertheless, even with the raise the state sector wages remain very low, reported dpa news.

President Raul Castro announced over a month ago that a raise was coming, taking advantage of the funds derived from Cuba doctors contracted to work abroad, especially in Venezuela and Brazil.

The Council of Ministers approved on Wednesday a “substantial increase” according to the official press. “The biggest winners will be the doctors, dentists and nurses,” said Vice President Marino Murillo, who heads the commission of the market economic reforms taking place on the island.

State media published a table that lists the new monthly salaries, ranging from just over $60 to the highest to $22 for a basic nurse. The new wages will begin to be paid in June, corresponding to the May salaries.

With this, doctors will be among the highest paid workers in the state sector on the island. For years Raul Castro has been saying that those that produce more should be earning more.
“Let’s keep in mind that to achieve the essential principle to distribute wealth we must first create it, and to do so we have to steadily increase efficiency and productivity,” said Castro in February in a speech to the Federation of Cuban Workers.
The new salaries of doctors, however, remain very low for example in relation to the income of some people who work in tourism or in the emerging private sector.

The island has issued licenses to some 450,000 self-employed, who work mainly in the food and small services sectors. According to the success of the business, some of these people can earn several hundred dollars a month. (No statistic has been forthcoming as to how many of the total figure of self-employed has had to turn in their licenses because their effort was a failure).

Despite extensive subsidies for basic services, Cubans complain that government salaries are not enough to live on. Many people get by receiving remittances from relatives abroad.

The announcement of salary increases for doctors also has benefited those working in missions in other countries. Among other measures, “the hard currency (CUC) payments “for the thousands of employees in Venezuela will be doubled,” said Granma daily.

Recently, the Brazilian authorities reported that Cuba rose to $1,250 the salary of their physicians in Brazil, where some 11,430 are now located.


72 thoughts on “Cuba Raises MD’s Salaries By Up to 150%

  • definition of liberalism– reaping all the benefits of capitalism and doing nothing but complaining about it.
    You cannot seriously argue that life in Cuba is fair. Without remittances received from relatives who work hard in Miami, Cuba would have nothing. In the United states it is not unusual for nurses, PA’s. pharmacists, doctors, and other health care professionals to provide free services to poor countries. In Cuba they are forced to do so. If a Cuban doctor decides to stay overseas, their family will be jailed. That is not the case in America.
    One more point. A few people mention our strong international military presence as if that is a bad thing. Do you seriously believe that western Europe could have avoided falling to Russia without our troop presence. We didn’t steal their resources. We helped build and protect them. As a European American, I would like to thank America for protecting my basic human rights. Something Cuba would never do.
    One last point. Americans are still sending remittances to Europe. Take away America’s military presence and American remittances, and the world would truly be a sad place to live.
    Conclusion: if you are a liberal who blames capitalism, go ahead and give up your right to vote, assemble, freedom of press and religion. Give up the ease by which you can obtain a passport to travel to most countries. Go to Cuba and live with the common people without any of the American tourist perks. Go for it. If you are not happy with the outcome, remember you can’t vote to change things. But you can complain and be imprisoned for doing so. A small price to pay for free healthcare.

  • 8 months later! I came back to see if any of the haters of the Cuban Revolution addressed my question. None did. The closest they came, is their usual argument that if you get rid of socialism, then freedom and the market will make life better (for their chosen concerns).

    But as usual, they don’t address the responsibility governments of any human worth have for all of their citizens and in a real democracy or even semi-socialist state, citizens and their human needs (not just the selective “rights” the haters refer to) are of equal concern. I pointed out for comparison sake what happens in the US, not a socialist state by far, when the market and citizens medical needs interact; Huge out of pocket costs or really lousy medical care, no coverage of dental, eye or ear care except maybe for emergencies, and three tiered medicine – Boutique for the rich, OK for those with good jobs and poor to lousy for the rest. Lastly, if you call for erasing the revolution, what would happen to the elderly, poor, disabled and folks far from the market?

    And please stop showing that you have no real interest in facts by erroneously comparing European countries as if they were all the same. They are not, some are more social than others. All have mixed economies, with mixed results, many of which are worth studying.

    One last example; In the US and other countries without universal or eye coverage, cataract surgery can cost from $5,000 (Medicare) to $10,000 or more regular insurance. Now Cuba provides thousands of free surgeries to Cubans (no charge) and people from other countries (no pay or small payments by the host country). If Cuban doctors were paid even half of the US salaries, where would the money come from? Answering this question is both political and financial. Give it a try.

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