Another 120 Cuban doctors arrive in Italy´s Calabria region

Otros 120 médicos cubanos en apoyo a la salud en Italia

HAVANA, Aug 6  Another 120 Cuban doctors recently arrived in Italy today to join the 51 specialists who since the end of last year have contributed to the improvement of health care in the southern region of Calabria, according to local media. According to a report published on the website of the newspaper Il Quotidiano del Sud, upon their arrival, last Friday night at the Calabrian airport of Lamezia Terme, the doctors from the Caribbean nation were received by the regional president, Roberto Occhiuto, who thanked them for being here.

«In recent months, his colleagues who arrived in Calabria, last December. They have made a fundamental contribution to our region, to keep hospitals open and provide answers to patients”, and we are sure that “you will also integrate very well, and it will be a successful experience”, Occhiuto said.

The governor pointed out that “when I announced that I would hire Cuban doctors, many criticized me for this initiative of mine, and today everyone in Italy wants to imitate me.”

“There are specialties that are difficult to find such as emergency, orthopedics, cardiology, and among the Cuban doctors who arrived there are specialists in these sectors.”

“I thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has helped us in recent weeks to overcome some bureaucratic problems, as well as the University of Calabria”, where specialists recently arrived from the island will temporarily stay, to receive an intensive course in Italian.

For his part, the rector of that high study center, Nicola Leone, who joined the reception, also expressed his gratitude “as a Calabrian”, and told them that “I appreciate their spirit of sacrifice and their availability”.

“I interacted with the colleagues who have preceded them, and I was able to appreciate the enthusiasm and desire to participate in an important mission,” Leone added to the doctors, who in the coming days will begin working in healthcare centers in Calabrian towns such as Cosenza, Catanzaro , Crotone, Reggio and Vibo.

On May 23, the Ministers of Health of Cuba and Italy, José Ángel Portal and Orazio Schillaci, respectively, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on collaboration in the fields of health and Medical Sciences.

During the signing of the document, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland, in the context of the LXXVI World Health Assembly, Schillaci recognized Cuba’s progress in health matters and scientific and biopharmaceutical research.

The Italian minister thanked the help provided in 2020 by Cuban collaborators from the Henry Reeve brigade in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions, during the most critical moments of the confrontation with the Covid-19 pandemic in that European nation.