Cuba to Increase Wages for Doctors

Jimmy Roque Martinez

Cuban doctors will be getting a raise starting January.

HAVANA TIMES – A much-announced wage increase will reach the pockets of Cuban health professionals this coming January, sources that prefer to remain anonymous told HT. There had been talk of this for about a year.

The opinions surrounding this rumor have been quite varied. Some didn’t believe it. Others thought it could happen, but that the salary increase would be next to insignificant. A few optimists not only believed the news to be true but were also convinced it would be a considerable wage increase.

The news gained some impetus this past Monday, as the payroll adjustments in the country’s health centers have begun. The wage increase is imminent and has been confirmed by at least two health sector officials to Havana Times.

One of the sources reported that the Ministry of Health hasn’t yet announced how much salaries will be raised by (apparently, it won’t be the same amount for everyone).

The adjustments will be made on the basis of the wage scale, beginning with medical doctors, who are to receive a 100 percent basic wage increase.

The salaries health professionals are to be paid for the month of December in January will reportedly already include the raise.

The news has been very well received by workers in the sector who, like education professionals, have practically no other income beyond their salaries (i.e. opportunities to misappropriate State resources or receive incentives). It is hoped a wage increase will also be seen for teachers in the not so far off future.

“It isn’t much, because, in addition to food, one has to buy other things, like soap and detergent, but it’s better than nothing,” a hospital technician stated. A janitor said that “it’s very positive and I’m very happy, but they’re going to expect more of us now.”

A doctor commented she thought it was a very encouraging development and that the salaries of Cuban health professionals working in missions in Venezuela had also been raised. “We’re heading in the right direction,” she stressed.

It is also rumored that the salaries of Cuban doctors working in the South American nation will get an additional 100 Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC), the so-called “frozen account.”

According to figures just presented to the Cuban parliament, spending in State subsidized sectors will experience a 2 percent increase in 2014, 22 percent of which will be accounted for by increased spending in public health. Most probably, this increase in State spending is related to the current wage reform.

That said, salaries will continue to be wholly inadequate in terms of satisfying the basic needs of the average Cuban, as the prices of basic products, particularly food, continue to rise at a rate higher than that of wages.

It is worth recalling that the medical services Cuba has been offering abroad have brought in large sums of money into the country and that, in view of this, health sector employees have long been demanding better payment for their work.

Jimmy Roque Martinez

Jimmy Roque Martinez: I was born in Havana in 1979, and it seems that work has been my sign. Custodian, fish farmer, lens carver, welder, glass maker, optometrist, have been some of my trades. But none consumes as much of my time as caring for my family. For many years I’ve faced the least pretty face of this society, and I try to be happy while I transform it. I am too shy. I like silence, sleep, theater and movies. I hate injustice and arrogance, and I can hardly contain my anger when it happens in front of me.

18 thoughts on “Cuba to Increase Wages for Doctors

  • January 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    1st: thank you for correcting my grammar. Although I work on improving my English every day (and indeed I’ve been here a long time) it is still not my first language.

    2nd: although the Cuban Adjustment Act (wet foot/dry foot) makes it easier for a Cuban to migrate its not the reason they do so. You can’t on the one hand speak of the wonders of the revolution and all it provides its people and then dismiss all those who risk their very lives to leave the Island “en mass”, year after year, for over 5 decades!!!

    3rd: you surely have a strange definition of war. As a sovereign state the USA can choose who and who not to do business with. And the embargo is not the reason for the failure that is Cuba. You can chalk that up to the wounderous inefficiency of communist central planning.

    4th your grade school understanding of the Cuban revolution leaves much to be desired. Your popular “revolution” did indeed enjoy wide spread popular support (my own parrents included) Castro had promised to restore the 1940 constitution but unfortunately when Batista was finally overthrown decided to rule by decree instead. Both Fidel and Che have been quoted as defending a dictatorial form of government (this is your Christ head?)

    …but why bother reasoning with an anarchist, someone who has issues with the nuclear family. You’re vision of the world my friend (as seen in you comments) is very scary.

    Your final statement has been a convenient excuse for many a dictator!

  • December 31, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    It’s not “a group” . It’s the entire society that determines what is best for that society .
    It’s what democracy: rule by the people: majority rule is all about.
    If you don’t like majority rule i.e. democracy you are , by definition a totalitarian who believes in rule by the few.
    I’ll repeat this despite the fact that you will refuse to accept it I am a democrat and I am an anarchist
    This does not mean that I am a member or follower of the U.S.’s Democratic Party but rather one who believes in rule by the people: majority rule and as such, I am opposed to the form of the Cuban government , the old Soviet government, the Chinese, Korean, governments and the government of the U.S.A which now is a totalitarian oligarchy.
    Last point : as an anarchist I do not believe that ANY form of government long enough in power does not become self-preserving, corrupt and inevitably totalitarian .
    I believe not in representative democracy/republic but only in direct democracy which now is possible via the computers, cellphones and other universally owned technologies .
    So while you have the right to think that I somehow support any Leninist ( cadre-led) government , your so thinking also reflects the individual right to be in error and to cling to that error in the face of contradicting facts.
    So answer these questions :
    Are you a democrat ?
    or are you a totalitarian as I have defined those two ?

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