Cuba announced today that the more than 8,000 doctors on the island who provide services in Brazil will return before the end of the year, after suspending the participation of these professionals in the health program "More Doctors" in the South American country.
Authorities from the Ministries of Public Health (MINSAP) and Transportation of the island reported that a plan for the "orderly and safe" return of doctors that will begin at the end of next week and should end in mid-December has been drawn up. next, according to state media.
However, last Thursday a first group of 196 Cuban doctors returned from Brazil, a day after the island's government announced the decision to withdraw the specialists in response to pronouncements by the president-elect of the South American country, Jair Bolsonaro, who questioned his preparation and conditioned his stay in the program "to the revalidation of the title", among other changes.
The first deputy minister of transport, Eduardo Rodríguez, explained that all health workers will return by air to the José Martí international airport in Havana and from there they will be transferred to their homes in the different provinces of the country.
He also stated that they will have insured the transfer of all their belongings, both in the case of luggage and items sent through Cuban cargo operators by air or sea, which once in Havana will be removed in the shortest time and will be free of payment of fees.
After his return to the Caribbean country, doctors will have guaranteed employment, as well as the possibility of providing their services in other nations where Cuba has health professionals, explained the director of the Central Medical Cooperation Unit of Minsap, Jorge Delgado Bustillo .
He also said that while waiting for his return to Cuba, the cooperators "will continue to provide assistance to the Brazilian population," according to a report by the Cuban News Agency.
The participation of Cuban doctors in the "More Doctors" project began in 2013 under the mandate of the then Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff with the aim of guaranteeing health care to disadvantaged communities in the favelas and poor and remote areas of the South American country.
The Cuban presence in this initiative was channeled through an agreement with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and in its five years of operation more than 20,000 islanders professionals have treated 113.3 million Brazilian patients in the 34 special districts indigenous peoples, mainly from the Amazon.
According to the National Council of the Municipal Health Secretariats (Conasems) of Brazil, at least 611 Brazilian cities can run out of medical coverage as of next year after the departure of Cuban specialists.
Currently, Cuban physicians represent more than half of the professionals hired by the "Más Médicos" program, which allowed access to health for some 29 million Brazilians, according to data from Conasems.