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

  • December 31, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    First off, the term is “en masse” and not in mass.
    Second -Cubans take to rafts because of the “wet foot dry foot” clause of the Cuban Adjustment Act that allows Cubans who float in illegally to Florida automatic entrance to the U.S. while simultaneously making it n both expensive and involving an 18 month wait to apply for legal emigration .
    Then there is the U.S economic war on the entire island that ensures that life will be difficult and Cubans will want to leave .
    Third, you seem to forget that Cuba’s was a popular revolution and is still supported by the overwhelming majority of Cubans
    Fourth, There is no apostrophe in the plural of Castro .
    Adding an apostrophe makes it a singular possessive .
    Fifth, Cubans have as much choice in who they chose as president as do the people in the U.S., which is very little.
    I can go into great detail on this last matter if you’d like.
    Note that no country that is under attack by a formidable enemy likes to change leadership in the middle of a conflict .

  • December 31, 2013 at 11:13 am

    How horrible.. Suppose this group determines you don’t need your home as it best fits someone else’s needs? …or that your use of a studio to work on your glass art is an unnecessary extravagance.

    Despite your attempt to misrepresent what I say. I don’t support anyone’s “interests” It is you However that clearly supports this authoritarian Leninist form of government. It is the only way to make your system of government work.

  • December 31, 2013 at 10:58 am

    …I think the obvious refutation to your comment is the irrefutable fact that Cubans (such as I) have been risking their lives in mass to flee your socialist paradise.

    It take quite a bit of desperation (and cojones) to get on a raft and brave the open Ocean to get away from all those wonderful things Cuba is offering.

    …and by the way, the only thing “imposed” on the Cuban people was the Castro’s. They certainly didn’t choose to be ruled by them for more that half a century!!

  • December 30, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    Those standards have long been set by the W.H.O. to name one institution.
    There are standards for nutritional levels, health care levels, educational opportunity levels and safe environments in which to raise a family.
    Once EVERYONE is guaranteed those human rights, the surplus can be divided based on merit, service to the community or whatever method is democratically chosen.
    I believe democracy is the best method of deciding such things and not the .0001% in whose interests you post.
    I believe in majority rule.
    and not the Leninist-oligarchic forms you prefer to make the decisions that affect everyone’s lives.
    How do you stand on democracy ?

  • December 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    and you can move your family to South Africa or any other poor Third World CAPITALIST country along with Moses and enjoy the privilege of VOTING while you and your families live in squalor .
    The fact is that, despite their hard lives- due in no small part -to the U.S. War On The People Of Cuba, the people of Cuba would not give up what they have for what you, Moses and the GOUSA would wish to impose upon them .

  • December 30, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    What you post is laughable. I can see you have never really spoken to a Cuban, or better yet lived the reality of Cuba, or you never would have posted what you did. I for one am very thankful I no longer receive these wonderful benefits in Cuba that you post of

  • December 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    To each according to his needs….and who determines what your needs are?

  • December 30, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    “To each according to his/her needs.
    From each according to his (state- provided) abilities to give.”
    Do you seriously have a problem with social responsibility being the driving force in wanting to become a doctor rather than wanting a couple of Mercedes-Benz in the driveway of your mansion ?
    WWJD ?

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