HAVANA, Oct. 25 Cuba will send another 37 Cuban health professionals to the Bahamas to cover the shortfall in this type of personnel and “other long-standing problems”in the Atlantic archipelago, reported the Bahamian Minister of Health and Welfare Michael Darville.
Havana sent nurses to Nassau in January 2022 after Covid-19 reduced the availability of labor in the Bahamian health system.
The professional who led the group said at the time that “Cuban doctors are not slaves,” but seven months later, the US warned the Bahamas that the nurses hired by the Cuban regime were being victims of human trafficking.
According to a report in The Tribune newspaper, Darville recently said that more than 50 health professionals from Ghana and Cuba will arrive in the Bahamas next week. 18 Ghanaian nurses will work in two hospitals in Nassau: Princess Margaret and Rand Memorial. 37 Cuban health professionals are also expected to arrive.
“This is very important because some of our nurses work overtime and we don’t want burnout. So, we have been recruiting in the Philippines and we will also recruit some nurses from Cuba again,” Darville explained.
The Bahamian Minister of Health and Welfare said that the Cubans sent by the Havana regime would be “laboratory and X-ray technicians, physical therapists, nurses and biomedical engineers.”
“We did an assessment and realized that there is a shortage of human resources in our hospitals and that we need to get foreign experience in the country while we begin training Bahamians,” the official detailed.
When the United States pointed out the human trafficking to which these professionals hired in the Bahamas were subjected, the Prime Minister of that country, Philip Davis, said he was disappointed with Washington. “It makes me laugh, because they are talking about the Cuban nurses that we have recruited.
I have told the US that our nurses have taken them after we had educated and trained them. They have taken them to the US and Canada,” Davis said at the time.
The flight of specialized personnel in the Bahamas became evident during the pandemic, which is why Nassau asked Washington for help in nursing personnel. According to Davis, having no response, his Administration turned to other countries.
What Prime Minister Davis seems to ignore is that the Cuban Government keeps at least 75% of what destination countries pay in salaries for health professionals. These workers are subject to strict surveillance and severe limitations on their fundamental freedoms.
The Cuban regime does not disclose how much it charges for sending health professionals and denies that it subjects them to “forced labor” and “modern slavery,” despite UN complaints.
The export of professional services, mostly medical, is one of the main sources of income for the Cuban Government.