Cuba demands return of relatives of Cuban doctors in Brazil

The Ministry of Public Health of Cuba would have issued an ultimatum to doctors working in Brazil, so that their accompanying family members return to the island before next Sunday or else the doctors will be expelled from the mission.

On December 17th Dr. Marina de la Torre, one of those responsible for the preparation of physicians who travel abroad, assured us that are trying to send to couples together and when one of them does not work in the health system no one opposes their traveling on their own.

In a text of Cuban doctors circulating on the Internet, is claimed that is Cuba who puts obstacles while Brazil issued a law that makes easier for “physicians participating in the program to have by their side the family on the time they are working in Brazil”.

Doctors describe as absurd to have allowed “having sex with a Brazilian inclusive wedding him or her, (but) living here with my lawful wife of 20 years for over a month is a fault to discipline according to the Minister of Health of Cuba”.

They explain “Bringing our family is not illegal nor by Cuban law nor by the Brazilian, is only illegal for our public health minister that imposes on us this without giving a reason, because if we don’t send our family before next Sunday February 1st we will be withdraw from the mission “.

They say such a thing “was not signed in our contract with Cuba, only now the Minister of Health using and abusing its hierarchy and knowing it has full control and dominion over us imposes that.”

They remind that “we inject money into our country and that today medical missions are the main source of income, thanks to our sacrifice but many do not see that point of view, it is true that we received a small profit but never compared to what we bring to the state. “

Several doctors in the mission in Brazil which I know have confirmed to me that this situation is real and caused a huge upset. Especially because it was not talked with them, they just received an “indisputable” resolution of the minister.

I have no idea of what can hide behind this policy or why that such a shift between December 17 and February 1 takes place. What seems unfair is that they impose on them a measure in an inconsiderate way and that includes a threat.

What doctors in Brazil say is totally true, they are the economic mainstay of the country, and Health Minister himself could not put fuel in his car if there were not thousands of doctors working in Venezuela to ensure oil.

Cuba may not be ungrateful to the hand that feeds it, with children who go abroad to work in the worst conditions in remote rural areas, in the jungle, in the slums or combating dangerous epidemics.

This army of white coats has suffered dozens of deaths in fulfilling their missions and that alone deserve the respect of all Cubans. They have left their families often but now if Brazil does not object, why separate them unnecessarily?.

Many of these doctors could have left the Public Health of Cuba, find their families and move to another country on their own, earning much more than now. However, they have continued to work for the benefit of the whole nation, of all Cubans.

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margarita hernandez

29 January, 2015



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