The Ministry of Public Health of the Republic of Cuba, committed to the principles of solidarity and humanism that for 55 years have guided Cuban medical cooperation, participates since its inception in August 2013 in the Más Médicos Program for Brazil. The initiative of Dilma Rousseff, at that time president of the Federative Republic of Brazil, had the noble purpose of ensuring medical attention to the greatest number of the Brazilian population, in accordance with the principle of universal health coverage promoted by the World Health Organization. health.
This program foresaw the presence of Brazilian and foreign doctors to work in poor and remote areas of that country.
Cuban participation in the same is done through the Pan American Health Organization and has distinguished itself by occupying places not covered by Brazilian doctors or other nationalities.
In these five years of work, nearly 20 thousand Cuban employees attended 113 million 359 thousand patients, in more than 3 thousand 600 municipalities, reaching to cover for them a universe of up to 60 million Brazilians at the time they constituted the 80 percent of all doctors participating in the program. More than 700 municipalities had a doctor for the first time in history.
The work of Cuban doctors in places of extreme poverty, in favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Salvador de Bahia, in the 34 Special Indigenous Districts, especially in the Amazon, was widely recognized by the federal, state and municipal governments of that country and its population, which granted 95 percent acceptance, according to a study commissioned by the Ministry of Health of Brazil to the Federal University of Minas Gerais.
On September 27, 2016, the Ministry of Public Health, in an official statement, informed the date of expiration of the agreement and in the midst of the events surrounding the legislative legislative coup against President Dilma Rousseff that Cuba "will continue to participate in the agreement with the Pan American Health Organization for the application of the More Doctors Program, as long as the guarantees offered by the local authorities are maintained ", which has been respected until now.
The elected president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, with direct, derogatory and threatening references to the presence of our doctors, has declared and reiterated that he will modify the terms and conditions of the More Doctors Program, with disrespect to the Pan American Health Organization and to the agreement of it is with Cuba, when questioning the preparation of our doctors and conditioning their permanence in the program to the revalidation of the title and as the only way to contract individually.
The announced modifications impose unacceptable conditions and breach the guarantees agreed upon since the beginning of the Program, which were ratified in 2016 with the renegotiation of the Cooperation Term between the Pan American Health Organization and the Brazilian Ministry of Health and the Cooperation Agreement. between the Pan American Health Organization and the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba. These inadmissible conditions make it impossible to maintain the presence of Cuban professionals in the Program.
Therefore, in view of this unfortunate reality, the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba has taken the decision not to continue participating in the More Doctors Program and has informed the Director of the Pan American Health Organization and the Brazilian political leaders who founded it and defended this initiative.
It is not acceptable to question the dignity, professionalism and altruism of Cuban collaborators who, with the support of their families, currently provide services in 67 countries. In 55 years, 600,000 internationalist missions have been carried out in 164 nations, involving more than 400,000 health workers, who in many cases have fulfilled this honorable task on more than one occasion. The feats of the fight against Ebola in Africa, blindness in Latin America and the Caribbean, cholera in Haiti and the participation of 26 brigades of the International Contingent of Physicians Specialized in Disasters and Large Epidemics "Henry Reeve" in Pakistan are highlighted. Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile and Venezuela, among other countries.
In the overwhelming majority of missions completed, the expenses have been assumed by the Cuban government. Likewise, in Cuba, 35 thousand 613 health professionals from 138 countries have been trained for free, as an expression of our solidarity and internationalist vocation.
The employees have been kept at all times the job and 100 percent of their salary in Cuba, with all labor and social guarantees, as the rest of the workers of the National Health System.
The experience of the Más Médicos Program for Brazil and the Cuban participation in it demonstrates that a South-South cooperation program can be structured under the auspices of the Pan American Health Organization to promote its goals in our region. The United Nations Development Program and the World Health Organization qualify it as the main example of good practices in triangular cooperation and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with its Sustainable Development Goals.
The peoples of Our America and the rest of the world know that they will always be able to count on the humanistic and solidary vocation of our professionals.
The Brazilian people, who made the Más Medicos Program a social conquest, who entrusted the Cuban doctors from the first moment, appreciate its virtues and the respect, sensitivity and professionalism with which it was attended, will be able to understand who is responsible for it. Our doctors cannot continue providing their solidarity contribution in that country.
Havana, November 14, 2018
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