Cuba Starts Withdrawing Doctors from Ecuador

By Xinhua (Progreso Weekly)

Many Cuban doctors working abroad on lucrative government to government contracts are returning home as Cuba’s relations deteriorate with leaders in several formerly allied countries including Brazil, Ecuador and Bolivia.

HAVANA TIMES — The first of nearly 400 Cuban doctors assigned to Ecuador were pulled back this past Tuesday at the request of Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno.

A plane carrying 174 doctors landed in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba, home to some of the medical professionals, before flying to Havana, where the remainder were met by Cuban Health Minister Jose Angel Portal.

Portal praised their work and denied that they had played any political role in the recent wave of protests that roiled Ecuador, as Moreno has charged.

Ecuador’s government alleged that during the riots in early October “there were an unusual flow of foreigners in the country with an official Cuban passport, arriving as healthcare workers.”

On Nov. 12, Ecuador announced its unilateral decision to terminate health accords with Cuba that entailed the 382-member Cuban medical mission, saying Ecuadorians would replace the doctors.

Cuba’s Health Ministry blames Washington for the dispute, accusing the US of trying to “sabotage” and “discredit” the prestige of its renowned international healthcare cooperation, also known as medical diplomacy.

“At all times, Cuban professionals have strictly adhered to carrying out the functions entrusted to them by Ecuador’s health system in strict compliance with the signed agreements,” the ministry said in a recent statement.

Cuba began medical cooperation with Ecuador in 1992. It was expanded in 2009 through a framework cooperation agreement in health matters signed during then Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa’s visit to Havana.

Some 3,565 Cuban doctors have worked in Ecuador, attending to millions of patients and carrying out 212,360 surgeries, according to the Cuban government.

In a message to the Ecuadorian people, Portal said Cuba was willing to continue collaborating in medical matters.

 



10 thoughts on “Cuba Starts Withdrawing Doctors from Ecuador

  • I would hope but would not be surprised if the US administration would facilitate such an unethical response.
    We need those doctors in New Mexico, USA. I just moved here and the healthcare system has a huge deficit.
    At the point the US decides to provide healthcare for all, the deficit will become publically embarrassing and unavoidable to not recognize.
    With a different administration Cuban doctors and US need might have something to talk about.
    Unattended medical needs with a
    Supply of doctors is a despicable and unethical situation.

    Reply
  • I understand the concerns expressed by Donna Wilson but she does reflect a common position for many Americans who relate anything that occurs in Latin American countries to the US. That may well reflect the Monroe Doctrine having been in place for 175 years and a consequent assumption that the US is relevant in any actions in those countries.
    I also sympathize with her concerns regarding the US medical systems which although costing a huge 17.2% of US GDP, has gaping holes in provision of health care to US society. I would be reluctant to assume that the US will ever provide the “healthcare for all” that Donna Wilson mentions.
    As one whose concerns are particularly linked to Cuba, I wonder what is going to be done within the country with the substantial number of doctors returning from Brazil and Equador? One can only assume that they will join the large number of Cubans who sit around playing dominoes or chess. For the Castro regime, the loss of those medical contracts which provide a major source of revenue, the economic loss is serious – especially when added to the ever-increasing need for imports.
    To her credit, Donna Wilson is logical in considering that those Cuba doctors could be sensibly engaged in New Mexico – but neither the Cuban or US administrations are known for pursuing logic.

    Reply
  • I feel this is a direct result of Trump’s Washington and his efforts to totally discredit Cuba. Cuban doctors and medical profesionals offer incredible care. They are well trained and I doubt they would be involved in any type of insurrection in Latin America. We could use some of those doctors here in Canada. Washington once again blackmailing foreign countries into ceasing any type of financial aid to Cuba. The list goes on and on. Benevolent USA. I think not.

    Reply
  • For anyone who places any value upon the freedom of the individual, the Castro regime thoroughly discredited itself when Donald Trump was merely a youth endeavoring to avoid military service. It is possible to exaggerate the level of care provided by the medical services in Cuba for Cubans. Patients have to take their own bedding, provide their own food in buildings with broken windows, missing door handles and little privacy. The medical staff themselves are very good, but cannot persuade the regime to import required drugs – not prevented by the US embargo. The conditions in the hospital in Havana which is exclusively for foreign visitors, bear no resemblance to those in the hospitals for Cubans.
    As I spend most of my time at home in Cuba, I speak from personal experience and am grateful for the attention I have received from doctors and nurses in Cuba.
    There is little chance of any of those doctors moving to Canada – where would they get a visa? The Canadian Embassy is barely functional and expects Cubans to go to Mexico to apply for visas.
    I see no sound reason for any country whose citizens value human rights and freedom of expression, to provide any form of financial aid to the Cuban totalitarian regime whose dictatorship goes “on and on”.

    Reply
  • Send them to Quebec ! We are BADLY in need for doctors & nurses !
    Bienvenido a Quebec , con mucho gusto .?

    Reply
  • Que bueno q los regresen , soy cubana y se lo q pasa en mi pais, cuba tambien necesita medicos y enfermeras, los hospitales estan en deplorables condiciones llenos d cucarachas, ratas ect, no tienen medicamentos , los guantes q usan los medicos en cuba para operaciones , partos, ect, los usan los lavan y los vuelven a usar, cero higiene, muchas personas estan muriendo pq los servicios q brinda el gobierno son muy malos, tenemos muchos testimonios de la crueldad a q es sometido nuestro pueblo por la familia castro, muchas personas del mundo no saben q la familia Castro son los dueños de Cuba y de cada cubano q nace en la isla , robandole su libre albedrio. Mi gente , en youtube pueden encontrar los testimonios. El comunismo de los castro es como una malevola plaga destructora . Hermanos del mundo, tenemos en Miami un canal de youtube #cubanosporelmundo #holaotaola un show en vivo de lunes a viernes a las 5:30 pm, para todo aquel q quiera inscribirse al canal y participar con sus comentarios encontra d la violacion d los derechos humanos en cuba seran bienvenidos a nuestra lucha pacifica para liberar a mi pueblo de tanta crueldad. Que Dios los bendiga. ?

    Reply
  • There were a lot of problems with the Cuban professionals in Ecuador. Whitout good preparation and now there are some groups that created private centers in where the negligence and abuse of patients is the rule.
    I agree with the decision. They didn’t improve nothing . They only were used like
    Slaves because the salary was sent to politics in Cuba .

    Reply
  • They would never pass the exam to be a doctor in Canada.
    Maybe a nurse.

    Reply
    • For once Brad I do not agree with you. I have received excellent diagnosis and treatment from doctors in Cuba. But they are restricted by the regime refusing to purchase certain drugs and by some lousy facilities.

      Reply
  • .. I’d like that Brad (Nov/25), show me HIS CREDENTIALS ?!

    Reply

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