Good-bye, Cuban doctors!
The Brazilian government said Wednesday it plans to greatly reduce the number of Cuban doctors working in a health care initiative that has brought thousands of physicians from the Caribbean island to underserved communities across the South American nation.
Brazil will continue a program called Mais Médicos, or More Doctors, to address a chronic lack of physicians that has mainly affected remote rural areas, the country’s health ministry said. But the government hopes to attract more Brazilian doctors to the program, to replace the foreign professionals.
As you may recall, Brazil’s medical association did not want the uncertified Cuban medics but were persuaded to accept them,
The reduction of Cuban doctors attending the program was expected after President Michel Temer, a member of the center-right Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, took office.
The program was started by former President Dilma Rousseff, whose leftist Workers’ Party has historic ties with Cuban leaders. At the time it was created, the initiative generated huge controversy among Brazilian medical associations, which claimed the foreign doctors weren’t well prepared and had poor skills, putting Brazilians’ health at risk.
Either way, the country faces a chronic shortage of qualified medical personnel.