Cuba to Send 4,000 Doctors to Brazil

The contracting of medical services brings the Cuban government one of its largest revenue sources. Foto: Raquel Pérez

HAVANA TIMES —  Some 4,000 Cuban doctors will arrive in Brazil by the end of this year to serve the population of 701 cities facing a shortage of health services, the Brazilian government announced today.

The arrival of the doctors from Cuba was made ??viable by the signing on Wednesday of an agreement between the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), reported dpa news.

The agreement comes after it appeared in July that such an effort to “import” Cuban MDs had failed,  in part because of protests by Brazilian doctors who challenged the qualifications of their Cuban counterparts.

According to the Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha, the first 400 Cuban doctors will travel to Brazil next weekend to work in cities whose needs have not been addressed in the first phase of the “More Doctors” program, launched by the government.

The second group, consisting of 2,000 physicians, is set to arrive in early October, while the final group will arrive at the end of November.

Cuba-Brazil graphic: ain.cu

Padilha said the government will pay to PAHO an amount equal to the salary offered to the 1,700 Brazilians and foreigners already contracted by “More Doctors” – US $ 4,081 per month. PAHO will then transfer the funds to the government of Cuba.

The minister said he ignores what percentage of the salary will actually be paid to the doctors, who will directly receive financial support for their housing and food expenses from the local administrations where they work.

The agreement, which runs through February 2014, provides for the payment to the PAHO of 511 million reals (US $ 208 million, at current exchange rates).

Cuba’s government pays doctors on the island between 20 and 30 dollars a month. They are forbidden from working outside their state position.


16 thoughts on “Cuba to Send 4,000 Doctors to Brazil

  • August 26, 2013 at 7:51 am
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    The Cubans will not be free to travel outside the country. They will not be eligible to stay in Brazil should they want.
    They will be closely monitored by minders from the embassy.

  • August 24, 2013 at 9:22 am
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    1. Doctors task is to achieve health
    2. Cuba has better health rates than the rest of LatinAmerica,
    3. There is a physicians shortage in some areas in Brazil.
    4. Cuba has more physicians per population than any other country in the world.
    5. Cuba may send 4000 physicians to Brazil and still be the country with more physicians per population in the world.
    6. People have many rights in Cuba, including free health, but salaries are comparatively small.
    7. Cuban physicians – whose medical education costed them not one cent – receive a substantial part of the money paid by other governments for their work in these sort of contract. It represents much more than their standard salary.

    8. It is a win-win-win agreement that Cuban physicians go to work in Brazil.
    Sorry for the few greedy brazilian doctors and for the anti-Cuba fundamentalists who will suffer!

  • August 24, 2013 at 8:56 am
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    Do you really think that Cuban physicians in the Amazon will be “under the watchful eye of political minders”? That those “political minders” (perhaps specially trained boas) will be checking whether they provide “political propaganda while they work”? And so on and so on and so on….

  • August 24, 2013 at 8:50 am
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    You rightly state that Cuba has many more physicians per population than any other country. After that you question how can Cuba send physicians abroad without affecting Cuban people medical services. Hint try to connect both statements.

  • August 24, 2013 at 8:46 am
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    Probably YOU have no physician shortage whatsoever! Many brazilians have. The rest of your note is not worth answering.

  • August 24, 2013 at 3:42 am
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    An interesting detail I found: in 2005 63 Cuban doctors that had been working in Brazil since 1997 had to leave after a court decided they could not practice medicine in Brazil without having their medical degrees endorsed.

    That is still the problem. Cuban doctors in Brazil have to go trough remedial courses to get up to the required level. Many fail. All Cuban doctors could require extra training before ever exercising.

    “Médicos cubanos abandonan Brasil por fallo judicial”

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CubaVerdad/message/15033

    “Médicos cubanos desaprueban en masa exámenes de revalidación en Brasil”
    Detalles Publicado el Martes, 25 Octubre 2011 15:09 Por Cafe Fuerte
    http://cafefuerte.com/cuba/noticias-de-cuba/sociedad/1285-medicos-cubanos-desaprueban-en-masa-examenes-de-revalidacion-en-brasil

  • August 23, 2013 at 10:56 am
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    “Indentured labor” means one has no freedom to move. It means one is blocked.
    Anyone in the free world can quit their job or emigrate to where he wants.
    Cuban doctors are sanctioned if they refuse “missions”. 90% of the fees received go to the regime.
    Their families aren’t allowed to travel with them and are kept as hostages for their return.
    It isn’t the Cuban people that benefits from their labor. they suffer even more as they have less doctors available. Medical rentals bring in 6 billion dollars a year and Cuban hospitals are crumbling macking verything. The wings for foreigners have everything that the regime claims it can’t get because of the blockade.
    The work of the doctors benefits the regime and its apparatus of repression only. The Cuban people live of remittances.

  • August 23, 2013 at 7:13 am
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    That is a rather weak attempt at moral equivalency. Are UK employees who get jobs through agencies forced to work overseas in remote jungles, not allowed to bring their families with them and kept under the watchful eye of political minders? Are UK workers required to provide political propaganda while they work? Are UK workers forbidden to quit their job? Do the agencies keep 95% of the fee paid by the client, as is the case with Cuba doctors?

    Saying the Cuban people benefit from the practice is an obscene way to describe slavery.

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