More Cuban Doctors Leave for Brazil

Cuban doctors ready to travel to Brasil. Photo:

HAVANA TIMES — Cuba sent off its second group of doctors to work in Brazil in the new health program of the government of Dilma Rousseff, reported dpa news.

The “second brigade” of Cuban doctors received a send off Sunday in Havana by Public Health Minister Roberto Morales. The doctors left today for Brazil, said Trabajadores weekly, without specifying the exact number of physicians.

The group is part of the 4,000 Cuban doctors recruited to work in the poorest areas of Brazil, according to the agreement signed with the Pan American Health Organization.

The “More Doctors” program of President Rousseff came as a response to protests in many Brazilian cities in June, but has been criticized by Brazilian medical associations who threatened to file a complaint with the Constitutional Court.

The Brazilian government has stressed that the recruitment of Cuban doctors and MDs from other countries only takes place when there are no local doctors willing to take the jobs. The “More Doctors” offers high salaries to professionals interested in working in remote areas of Brazil.

The Brazilian authorities note that the inscriptions of local physicians in the first calls were well below expectations.

The precariousness of public services was one of main themes during the recent Brazilian social protests .

With 6.7 doctors per each 1,000 inhabitants, Cuba has one of the largest reserves of doctors in the region. The island traditionally sends medical missions to other developing countries.

In recent times the government of Raul Castro is also boosting the export of medical services as a major source of income. Some 35,000 Cuban doctors are working in Venezuela. In return, the South American country sells oil to Havana on preferential terms.