HAVANA TIMES — Cuban doctors sent to Brazil to work in that country’s “More Doctors” program for unattended populations received good news on Friday as their wages were increased considerably. Publicly voiced discontent among a small number of the doctors appears to have received a positive reply.
The 24.5 percent pay increase is effective starting in March. The Cubans will now receive US $1,245 per month, announced Arthur Chioro, the Brazilian Health Minister, reported dpa news.
The minister also noted that after negotiations with the government in Havana, the 7,400 Cuban doctors brought into the country will receive their full salary in Brazil.
Until now, the doctors received only US $400 a month, while another $600 was deposited in a bank account they would have access to after returning to the island.
Unlike Brazilian and other foreign physicians involved in the “More Doctors” program, the Cubans do not receive their wages directly from the government of Brazil. This is due to the three party agreement between Brazil, Cuba and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Under the contract Brazil transfers 10,000 reales (US $4,300) per month to PAHO for each of the Cuban doctors. The organization, in turn, transfers an undisclosed portion to the Cuban government, which then uses some of the money to pay the salary of its employees.
“As Minister of Health of Brazil I cannot say how Cuba uses these resources. I have the impression that a significant portion goes to the Cuban health system for the training of doctors, which have helped in partnerships around the world,” said Chioro.