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Thread: Exporting Doctors

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    Exporting Doctors

    Exporting Doctors
    http://translatingcuba.com/exporting-doctors-orlando-freire-santana-2/

    Orlando Freire Santana

    The popular Cuban refrain, when referring to the contradiction when the person producing something hasn’t got that thing in his own home, employs the very handy saying, “In the blacksmith’s house, you find a stick for a knife.” We can say the same thing with the health service nowadays, with a large number of doctors and medical students, and on the other hand poor attention for the ordinary citizen.

    The news agency France Press, based on information that appeared in the newspaper Granma, official organ of the Communist Party, let it be known that more than 47,000 students, 10,000 of them foreigners, had enrolled in medical courses in Cuban universities in the academic year 2013/14. It emphasize that, taking into account that Cuba has more than 75,000 doctors for a population of 11.1 million inhabitants, which would represent a doctor for every 148 people, the island finds itself in a privileged position on the international level.

    Nevertheless, such statistics contrast with the calamitous state of many of the health services in our country. It’s the same in hospitals, health centers, dental surgeries, opticians and in the family health centers. These centers started up nearly three decades ago, with the intention of providing 24-hour primary health care in peoples’ home areas. But they function so erratically now that the intention in question has pretty well disappeared.

    For example, in the Council area of Cerro, Havana, out of four centers started in the ’80s, today only one remains offering services, leading to frequent overcrowding in the place, and the inevitable irritation both of the patients and the doctors.

    In the case of the doctors who move out of the houses annexed to the centers, although the doctor turns up for the day, he doesn’t any longer live next door, leading to lack of attention for patients with emergencies. Note also the dreadful state of the building in many of these centers, and the same is true in hospitals and clinics. There are propped up roofs, leaky walls and out of service toilets.

    The official newspaper Granma echoed the complaint of a surgeon in the Laser Surgery Service of the Celia Sánchez Manduley hospital. The doctor pointed out that for more than a year they hadn’t practiced optical surgery in that health center due to technical problems with the air circulation equipment in the operating rooms. While in the context of the so-called “Operation Miracle”, the Cuban doctors give back sight to people from various countries, more than a few Cubans lack such benefits.

    On the balcony where an old lady lives, appeared a sign with the following text, “I’m off to Venezuela.” It was, obviously, the cry of a desperate patient who could not see the solution to her health problem within the confines of our “medical power”.

    Sometimes patients have to travel great distances to be attended to by particular specialists because the health centers in their health district don’t have such specialists. Many Cubans have to give a little gift to these doctors in order to receive a quality service. Moreover, there is a scarcity of medicines in the pharmacies accepting Cuban pesos. Clearly, you almost always find those missing drugs in the international pharmacies, who sell for convertible pesos, the currency in which most Cubans are not paid.

    And while all this is going on in the country, the “Castrismo” is going on about having more than 40,000 doctors in 58 countries. It’s not a secret to anybody that those professionals work in difficult conditions in those countries where they offer their services, and that the Cuban government repays them just a tiny fraction of what the recipient countries pay for them. Nevertheless, every time we talk to a doctor who works in Cuba, his desire comes across to go abroad to serve on “a mission.” It’s logical, since, even bearing in mind the financial robbery referred to, there will always be more than is evident in the island. You mustn’t forget that a doctor in Cuba, on average, earns the equivalent of 25 or 30 dollars a month.

    Not everything is the color of roses for those doctors who are sent abroad. In many places they don’t recognize their professional qualification. Right now, the first 400 0f a total of 4,000 have arrived in Brazil. We know about the protests of that country’s Medical Union that casts doubt on the skills of those doctors, at the same time as they accuse president Dilma Rousseff of getting up to political games, rather than acting to improve the country’s health. In the same way, more than a few countries require an ability test for the doctors who graduate from the Latin American School of Medicine based in the Cuban capital.

    Nevertheless the Cuban authorities take into account the obvious judgment that this huge quantity has to be balanced with quality. Every year a larger number of students are summoned to study medicine, a course which they now run in all the provinces throughout the country. Here the utilitarian consideration far outweighs the functional. The foreign medical services have become the country’s principal source of income, more than tourism, nickel and tobacco. Other considerations don’t appear to matter.
    The Castroit tyrannical regime has for many years been treating the health care personnel as “exportable commodities.” It is a modern day version of trafficking in human beings, a multi billion dollars form of international crime, a violation of human rights. The regime earns around $6 billion per year exporting professional services, especially doctors, to other countries, more than the $5.6 billion brought by tourism, nickel and remittances together

    There are a total of 76,000 Cuban doctors. According to MINSAP, 40,000 Cuban doctor’s work oversees. From 2003 to 2012, it is estimate that 4,000 physicians left Cuba. This left at 32,000 the numbers of doctors in Cuba. Of those, near 10% quit their profession to work in more lucrative jobs, leaving only 28,800 working in their profession. The regime has acknowledged that there is a shortage of doctors and nurses in Cuba. The vice minister of public health, Joaquín García Salaberría, took the highly unusual step of admitting on Cuban television that there were shortages of doctors and nurses. The World Health statistics 2013, based in the data submitted by the Castroit regime, estimate in 67.2 the number of physicians per 10,000 population. This is equal to one doctor for every 149 people. But the real per capita of practicing doctors in Cuba is one doctor for every 389 people.

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    Re: Exporting Doctors

    One of the most readily apparent problems with the health care system in Castrolandia is the severe shortage of medicines, equipment, and other supplies. Even the most common pharmaceutical items, such as aspirin and antibiotics are conspicuously absent or only available on the black market, and patients need to provide bed sheets and food during hospital stays.

    This problem is by no means limited to the health sector. Cubans often have tremendous difficulty obtaining basic consumer goods and other necessities, including food.

    A number of key sectors of the economy, such as health care, remain governed by centralized planning, which inevitably leads to chronic material shortages and inefficiency. In a centralized economy, forces of supply and demand are inevitably out of balance, leading to underproduction of goods.

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    Re: Exporting Doctors

    Many treatments we take for granted aren't available at all, except to the Communist elite, foreigners with dollars, and top members of the repressive apparatus and the armed forces. For those, the Castroit regime keeps hospitals equipped with the best medicines and most modern technologies. And, whatever is left, is for the rest of the population.

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    Re: Exporting Doctors

    Over 3,000 Cuban Doctors Defected From Venezuela
    Capitol Hill Cubans: Over 3,000 Cuban Doctors Defected From Venezuela

    Capitol Hill Cubans

    In 2013, over 3,000 Cuban doctors have defected from Venezuela.

    According to El Universal, this represents a 60% increase from 2012, which illustrates the rapidly declining state of affairs in Venezuela.

    The Venezuelan government pays the Castro regime $6,000 per doctor.

    Meanwhile, each Cuban doctor only receives $300 -- which represents a 95% profit margin for the Castro brothers.

    Spanish link: En Un Ano Tres Mil Cubanos Desertaron De Venezuela - Internacional - El Universal
    One of the Castroit tyrannical regime most profitable business enterprises is the selling of slave labor to foreign countries in order to procure hard currency.

    However, we are happy to learn that a large number of enslaved doctors sold to Venezuela's puppet dictatorship have managed escape. In the last year, an average of 3,000 Cubans, the majority of them doctors, deserted to the United States from various social programs being carried out in Venezuela. This figure represents a 60% increase over 2012.

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    Re: Exporting Doctors

    Cuba’s National Statistics Office (ONE), at the end of 2012 estimated at 82,065 the total number of doctors. A couple of months ago, Minister of Health Robert Morales said that 56,600 doctors were working outside the country. An estimate of 4,000 physicians left the island between 2003 and 2012. The actual number of doctors in Cuba would be: 82,065 – 56,600 – 4000 = 22,065. From those, close to 10% quit the profession to work in more lucrative jobs, leaving about 19,860 working in their profession. The real per capita of practicing doctors in Cuba is one doctor for every 564 people, not a doctor for every 137 persons as per the regime figure based in the total number of doctors.

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    Re: Exporting Doctors

    How do Cuban doctors escape Venezuela?
    How do Cuban doctors escape Venezuela?

    Adriel Reyes

    Despite the eight years in which they may not return to see family on the island, uncertain fates and the danger to which they are exposed, in 2013, eight Cuban doctors defected daily in Venezuela.

    In two days, Cuban doctor Maria del Carmen Fundora would travel to the United States. They woke her at four o'clock in the morning, in the home she shared with her mission companions in Venezuela. She was still in pajamas, because they wouldn't allow her to change clother. Despite the curfew imposed by the violence in that country, in the middle of the night, the attending head of mission and security personnel from Cuba and Venezuela went to take her away.

    The evidence against her was irrefutable: emails sent to relatives in the United States and phone calls to the U.S. Embassy. The last that was heard from her was that she was immediately deported to the island. Her belongings would be sent to her later.

    Fernando Garcia, a doctor from Santiago de Cuba, ran better luck. He came to the U.S. after crossing the Colombian border, just days after the Fundora incident. He was accompanied by his wife, who is also a Cuban doctor. For over a month, they lived in a cheap motel in Caracas, awaiting visas granted through the Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program.

    Not to be deported to Venezuela, Garcia followed the recommendation to leave the mission before starting the paperwork to travel to the United States. He tried not to attract the attention of the authorities or take any medication or utensil, including his stethescope. Besides all that, it "is always advisable to take a little money with you in case you have to bribe someone on the road."
    Since 2006 around 8,000 Cuban doctors have defected to the United States while serving on aid missions in Venezuela.

    The Castroit "doctor diplomacy" involves utilizing Cuban physicians to serve in areas where the Cuban regime has entered into contractual relationships with the expressed intention of providing health care aid and establishing or nourishing diplomatic relations with the host community. The physicians serving in those countries are essentially under surveillance all the time and any change in their plans not consistent with the orders given from Havana invariably lead to the involvement of police or paramilitary security forces. It is no wonder that many physicians in such missions defect to freedom. About 12,000 health workers, many of them physicians, have left Cuba in the last ten years.

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    Re: Exporting Doctors

    Under the Castroit government's health care monopoly, the state assumes complete control. Average Cubans suffer long waits at government hospitals, while many services and technologies are available only to the Cuban party elite and foreign "health tourists" who pay with hard currency. Moreover, access to such rudimentary medicines as antibiotics and Aspirin can be limited, and patients often must bring their own bed sheets and blankets while in care.

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    Re: Exporting Doctors

    Cuba was a ****hole, is a ****hole, and will always be a ****hole.

    Nothing new there.
    -----MOS 19D = cavalry scout = best damn MOS there is

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    Re: Exporting Doctors

    Cuban MD to File Suit in Brazil
    Cuban MD to File Suit in Brazil - Havana Times.org

    Posted By Circles Robinson On February 8, 2014

    Brazilian government defends its More Doctors program

    By José Alberto Gutiérrez* (Café Fuerte) [1]

    HAVANA TIMES — Ramona Matos Rodríguez, the Cuban doctor who left the “More Doctors” program in Brazil, has opened a Pandora’s Box.

    After leaving the doctor’s office where she had been located in the remote Pacajás municipality in the northern Brazilian state of Pará, the Cuban sought protection in the heart of Brazilian politics, the capital Brasilia.

    Politicians of the Partido Democratas (DEM), in opposition to the government of President Dilma Rousseff, immediately gave their support to the doctor, seeking the advantages in politics these types of cases tend to provide, especially in an election year.

    Matos, who remains hosted on the premises of the Chamber of Deputies, was presented to the parliament, and her case taken to an emergency meeting with the Minister of Justice, the Brazilian Lawyers Association and the Public Ministry, besides receiving considerable media attention .


    Dr. Ramona Matos with a group of opposition politicians and parliamentarians who support her complaint to the government of Dilma Rousseff.

    Legal Action

    The latest action from DEM, announced its leader Mendonca Filho, is to file a suit at the Ministry of Labor in which Matos demands the portion of her salary (nearly 90%) that goes to the Cuban government.

    Payment to members of the Cuban mission takes place through a web of contracts signed between the Brazilian Ministry of Health, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Distributor of Cuban Medical Services S.A.

    Matos will also request compensation for alleged moral damages. She says she is “deeply deceived” after she was presented with a contract in Cuba for $1,000 a month of which $400 would be paid to her in Brazil and $600 deposited on the island. She claims that it wasn’t until after her arrival in Brazil that she learned the real amount budgeted for the program’s participants is around US $4,200.
    “Brazilian law provides that any person who has the value of their work reduced is suffering unequal treatment and has the right to claim moral damages,” said the DEM Rep. Mendonça Filho who is advising the Cuban doctor in this action.

    Beyond the individual suit by Matos, the opposition party plans to present a class action suit against More Doctors, the banner program of Rousseff in the field of public health. This suit would cover all Cuban doctors, forcing the Brazilian government to reimburse them the full value of their wages.

    In an interview with the newspaper O Globo, Labor Ministry prosecutor Sebastião Caixeta, said he agreed with the claims of Dr. Matos and said in the coming days he will submit a report recommending the full payment of salaries for Matos and the more than five thousand Cubans who are currently working in Brazil in the More Doctors program.

    According to Caixeta, the employment contracts revealed by Matos, signed by Cuban professionals and the Distributor of Cuban Medical Services SA, proves that this is not just a simple scholarship grant, but of common labor relations governed by the laws of the country.
    Meanwhile, Brazilian President Rousseff tries to distance himself from the Matos case, considering it an isolated case and confident that incidents of deserting Cubans will not multiply. She believes this specific case should be resolved by the relevant ministries of Health and Justice, and never reach the Presidential Palace.

    Among Ministers

    The new Brazilian minister of Health, Arthur Chioro, who replaces the former Minister Alexandre Padilha, has downplayed the defection of the Cuban doctor and announced Mato’s removal from the official program and her prompt replacement in the distant Pacajás. Padilha, the outgoing minister, was the spearhead of the More Doctors program. He left his office to present his candidacy for the post of governor of the State of Sao Paulo, one day before Matos went public in Brasilia.

    “The revolution began with More Doctors will continue,” said Chioro.

    Matos, 51, also filed a request with the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia for protection under the special program for defecting Cuban physicians in third countries, in force since 2006. Under the so-called Cuban Medical Professional Parole, more than 1,500 members of the Cuban medical missions have been granted asylum in the USA.

    * Cuban journalist and executive editor of Terra Latin America and the United States. He lives in São Paulo.
    Ramona Matos Rodríguez, the Cuban doctor, has practiced medicine for more than 20 years in Cuba for the slave wage of $30 a month. The Castroit regime don’t own the doctors. They have the inalienable right of working where they choose to. The free education and health care under the regime is a myth. The salary pay to the Cuban people is only 10% of the real salary, equivalent to an effective tax rate of 90%. In reality Cubans are paying for their education and health care every day they show up to work.

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