14ymedio, Havana, 26 July 2020 — The Mexican government paid Cuba more than $6 million US dollars (135 million Mexican pesos) during May and July of this year for the services of a group of doctors from the Island. The 585 doctors hired by Mexico gave medical attention to patients with COVID-19 in the country’s capital, Ciudad de México.
“The amount 135 million pesos was the figure agreed for all of the activities carried out, including training, research, sharing of protocols and good practices, epidemiological monitoring and a number of other activities of a more technical nature” confirmed the Health Secretary of Ciudad de México, Oliva López Arellano.
Nevertheless, it remains unclear how much of this money found its way to the doctors bank accounts. It has been a long-established practice that Cuban authorities pocket between 70% and 80% of the financial compensation they receive from the host country, while the health professionals only receive a fraction of the total amount.
“We are extremely happy and grateful. The solidarity shown not only by Cuban doctors, but by all of the health workers who have thrown themselves into the heat of the battle against COVID-19, is incredibly important to us”, López Arellano stressed.
She went on to add that doctors from the island stood alongside an additional 2,000 health workers hired by the capital with the aim of “strengthening the [city’s] ability to respond to the virus”. Together, they were tasked with facing up to the state of emergency brought about by the pandemic.
López Arellano was also keen to praise the dedication shown by the Cuban doctors, “many of the workers came from other federations within the Mexican state, so the Cuban professionals who joined the fight have been vital for medical attention within the city; we are overwhelmed with gratitude for their commitment and their willingness, and we remain open to future collaboration”.
The public official remarked that while it would be possible to renew the agreement in the future, for the time being, it had come to an end. The final cohort from the Cuban envoy returned to the country last Saturday and is currently observing the obligatory 14-day quarantine in compliance with the measures taken by the government.
In a statement, Migual Díaz-Canel welcomed the cohort back to the country and took the opportunity to highlight the strength of the Cuban health system. Juan López, one of the chief medics of the envoy based in Villa Clara, asserted that the professionalism shown by the doctors allowed them to gain recognition as they adapted to the protocols of the Mexican health system.
The Mexican chancellor, Marcelo Ebrard, tweeted a message of thanks on behalf of the government and the Mexican people for the “invaluable support of the Cuban doctors and nurses who came to save lives in our country during a difficult few months in the fight against COVID-19. We are eternally grateful for your support.”
Translated by: Andy Barton
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