Cuba lacks doctors, but the government will send another 1,200 to Mexico

Cuba lacks doctors, but the government will send another 1,200 to Mexico

HAVANA, May 13  The recent meeting between the general director of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), Zoé Robledo Aburto, and the president of Cuba,Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has generated expectations and controversies around the agreement to hire 1,200 Cuban doctors in Mexico.

This initiative seeks to strengthen medical cooperation between both countries, although it is developed in a context marked by the crisis of the Cuban health system and criticism of the working conditions of health professionals sent abroad.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel expressed during the meeting that “the presence of Cuban medical personnel in Mexico is an opportunity for both countries.” He also pointed out that it allows Cuban doctors to “grow professionally, humanely and revolutionaryly.”

The agreement between Mexico and Cuba aims to expand the presence of Cuban doctors in IMSS-Bienestar hospitals, especially in rural and marginalized areas where specialists are lacking.

And this decision is based on the need to improve medical care in remote and difficult-to-access areas, where the shortage of health personnel is a persistent problem.

However, the initiative is being developed amid a deep crisis in the Cuban health system, characterized by a lack of medicines, supplies and medical personnel.

The flight of thousands of health professionals from Cuba has become a worrying phenomenon, driven by low salaries and precarious working conditions.

To the doctors who leave the country, we must add those who annually hang up their title and leave the sector. Among the causes of this phenomenon are the difficult working conditions and the Cuban government’s restrictions on specialists leaving the country.

On the other hand, the terms of the contracts for the service of Cuban doctors abroad have been questioned, being described by opponents as forms of modern slavery, where the State retains the majority of the professionals’ salaries.

Complaints have also come about the cost generated by Cuban doctors abroad. Several unions and unions have warned that it costs more to maintain a Cuban doctor than to pay those born in the land that receives them.

Criticisms and concerns in Mexico

The hiring of Cuban doctors in Mexico has also generated criticism from sectors of the opposition and civil society.

Some argue that this measure does not address the root causes of the country’s lack of doctors, such as violence in rural areas and the lack of adequate job opportunities for Mexican health professionals.

In addition, concerns have been raised about the safety of Cuban doctors, who would be destined to work in areas where violence and the risk of being murdered are a daily reality.

This raises questions about the effectiveness and long-term sustainability of this bilateral medical cooperation.