Friday, November 20, 2015

Controversy Rages in Chile on the Recruitment of Cuban Doctors

Controversy Rages in Chile on the Recruitment of Cuban Doctors / 14ymedio
Posted on November 19, 2015

14ymedio, Havana, 7 November 2015 – Critics of the potential arrival of
Cuban doctors in Chile have raised their tone in recent weeks in the
South American country. Marisol Turres, national deputy from the
Independent Democratic Union (UDI) party, denounced that the situation
is almost one of "human trafficking" and questioned the conditions
imposed by the Cuban government on its doctors working in Chile.

The proposal to contract for Cuban doctors has been pushed by Alejandor
Navarro, a senator from the Broad Social Movement (MAS), who, at the end
of September, was backed by the majority of mayors in the country.
However, the Chilean Association of Medical Faculties (ASOFAMECH)
clarified that while it was not opposed to the arrival of the
professionals, they must past the Unified National Examination of
Medical Knowledge (Eunacom).

The Chilean Medical Faculties have warned that, of the 787 doctors
licensed in Cuba, equally split between Chileans and foreigners
residing in the country, of those who have so far taken the theory
section of the national examination, only 23.5% have passed on the first
attempt, and an additional 12% have managed to pass on the second, third
or even the fourth attempt.

Those who are concerned about the arrival of the physicians, as is the
case with UDI deputy Turres, also demand that the Ministry of Health
(Minsal) pressure the Meidcal College to train specialists and oblige
the scholarship students to work in public service when they finish

Although she declared she is not against the initiative, in addition to
her concern about "human trafficking," Turres laments that "it is a
terrible violation of human rights, because the Cuban government
expropriates a large portion of their salaries, and their families must
stay in Cuba… Let them come with their families and keep 100% of the
payments from the State of Chile and not have most of their pay taken by
the country they come from."

At the end of September, 225 mayors delivered a letter to the branch
ministry, which supports the arrival of the Cuban doctors to make up for
a deficit of 3,795 doctors, and to resolve "the waiting lists, while
Chile trains its specialists."

While the debate heats up in Chile, thousands of health professionals on
the island dream of a new "medical mission" abroad, which allows them to
earn higher incomes. For the Cuban government it is a lucrative
business, since the export of health services to some 40 countries
represents 64% of total income from services. According to the director
of the Commercialization of Medical Services, Yilian Jimenez, Cuba
expects to gross more than 8.2 billion dollars from the program in 2015.

Source: Controversy Rages in Chile on the Recruitment of Cuban Doctors /
14ymedio | Translating Cuba -

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