12/15/13 - Cuba Standard.com - Brazil may raise number of Cuban doctors again
CUBA STANDARD - The Brazilian government will evaluate the number
of doctors needed under the Mais Médicos program in March, President Dilma
Rousseff announced during a visit of a Cuban-staffed hospital near São
Paulo on Friday.
"If necessary," the number of foreign doctors hired under the program
started in September may be increased again, Rousseff said; Brazilian
officials have said they hoped to double Mais Médicos from currently 6,500
to 13,000 doctors. The program, aiming at improving health services in
under-served rural and poor urban areas, is eminently popular and has
helped boost Rousseff's political standing, after massive street protests
swept the country in summer.
During her participation in the opening of the José Alencar hospital in São
Bernardo do Campos, Rousseff was accompanied by her popular predecessor
Luiz Inácio 'Lula' da Silva and Health Minister Alexandre Padilha.
Five thousand four hundred of the currently 6,500 foreign doctors in the
program are contracted under an agreement between Brazil, the Pan American
Health Organization (PAHO) and the Cuban government. Brazil has been
struggling to find enough Brazilian doctors and foreign doctors contracted
on an individual base.
As Brazil pays $4,000 per doctor each month, revenues for Cuba at the
current staffing level are estimated at $250 million per year.
In November, Brazil added 3,000 Cuban doctors to the 2,400 Cuban doctors
already in the country since September. The current total of 5,400 exceeds
the previously announced number by 1,400. Even so, this still is below the
6,000 announced by the Brazilian government in May this year. The summer
demonstrations included Brazilian doctors protesting the contracting of
foreign doctors, apparently causing the government to backtrack
temporarily. On Aug. 21, the Brazilian health ministry and PAHO announced
Aug. 21 to contract 4,000 Cuban doctors as a backbone for the
fast-expanding medical program in needy regions of Brazil.
Original Source / Fuente Original:
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