Díaz-Canel Finalizes Agreement to Send 1,200 Cuban Doctors to Mexico

Monday, May 13, 2024 by Richard Morales

Díaz-Canel Finalizes Agreement to Send 1,200 Cuban Doctors to Mexico
Zoé Robledo Aburto y Miguel Díaz-Canel - Imagen de © Presidencia Cuba

The Cuban leader, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, held a meeting with Zoé Robledo Aburto, the General Director of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), to finalize agreements regarding the deployment of 1,200 Cuban doctors to Mexico.

The meeting took place over the weekend and focused on strengthening medical cooperation between Cuba and Mexico. Both governments aim to sign an unprecedented contract. The presence of Cuban healthcare professionals in Mexico is part of the commitment by leaders @lopezobrador_ and @DiazCanelB to bolster and consolidate cooperation in health-related disciplines.

In late April, Robledo Aburto met with Cuba's Minister of Public Health, José Ángel Portal Miranda, who noted that 768 Cuban doctors are currently supporting Mexico's health sector. "We are working together to expand the collaboration of Cuban doctors in IMSS-Bienestar hospitals, aiming to reach 1,200 specialists," stated IMSS.

Context of Cuban Health Crisis

The hiring of these doctors comes amid a deep crisis in Cuba's healthcare system, characterized by a chronic lack of medications, supplies, and personnel in hospitals. Cuba faces a severe exodus of healthcare professionals driven by salaries that, when adjusted for current inflation, amount to approximately $20 per month.

This exodus is exacerbated by the terms of the contracts the government signs for its doctors' service abroad, widely criticized as modern forms of slavery, where the state retains the majority of the professionals' salaries. The remaining portion of each doctor's salary is deposited in Cuban bank accounts, subject to an official exchange rate significantly lower than the informal market rate, effectively devaluing what little they receive.

During the meeting on Friday, Miguel Díaz-Canel stated that "the presence of Cuban medical personnel in Mexico is an opportunity for both countries," emphasizing that it allows Cuban doctors to "grow professionally, humanly, and revolutionarily."

Zoé Robledo Aburto praised the quality of Cuban medical care, describing it as "extraordinary" in both professional and human aspects. He asserted that cooperation is essential to strengthening the Mexican public health system, especially in rural and marginalized areas that lack specialists.

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