Cuba Continues Sending Doctors to Brazil and Venezuela / Juan Juan Almeida
Juan Juan Almeida, 28 July 2016 — In spite of certain comments,
important desertions, crises, adjustments and a new renegotiation, the
Government of Cuba will continue sending doctors to health programs in
Venezuela and Brazil.
Cuban health authorities scour the island, from end to end, affirming in
every corner that they are prepared to interrupt or cancel these two
medical missions. In this coming and going, they also announce a new
strategy to redirect cooperation, increasing the health service on the
island for tourism, and they emphasize that they’re not going to close
the mission in Venezuela or any of its states.
So yes, they’re going to reduce the work-force, because the agreements
between the Cuban and Venezuelan governments were signed when a barrel
of oil had an exuberant price, and today it has another.
According to official information, published in the digital portal of
the Cuban News Agency, 98 Cuban doctors, recent graduates of the
University of Medical Sciences of Havana, will leave soon for the
Bolivarian Republic, but the notice doesn’t mention that they’ve reduced
the number of collaborators who aren’t doctors.
The agreements are readjusted, and the number of workers not directly
related to healthcare delivery is reduced. The same thing is happening
in the Andean state of Táchira, where, owing to the renewed contract,
every collaborator (non-medical professonal) has to travel in a minibus
to distant and dangerous zones daily, to care for up to four of the 25
Centers of Integral Diagnostics that exist. A Cuban-style agreement:
multiply the work and the responsibility, not the salary.
In Brazil something very different is happening. The mission enjoys
better health and the impact of the “More Doctors” program is greater.
There the coverage for primary health care is growing — this is already
a reality — and it certainly grew more in the last two years than in the
seven previous ones.
One significant detail is that during the journey of the Olympic torch
through the Brazilian states, it was a Cuban doctor, Argelio Hernández
Pupo, who carried the flame in the northeastern city of Lagoa Grande.
Brazil will receive athletes, tourists, celebrities and the press. So,
because of the Olympic games, and the danger from the outbreak of Zika,
the Cuban authorities have made provisions to curtail the vacations of
the medical and non-medical missionaries for the months of July and
August. They will begin returning to the island beginning September 15.
However, “Cuban health personnel will increase there. It’s programmed
that this month some 250 doctors will go to Brazil with the mission of
filling in the gaps,” said a terrified source who declined to be
identified, although, worried, he added, “The truth is I don’t know what
’the gaps’ means.”
Translated by Regina Anavy
Source: Cuba Continues Sending Doctors to Brazil and Venezuela / Juan
Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba –