14ymedio — Yanier Samón de Hombre, a thirty-two-year-old Cuban doctor who was working as a member of the Brazilian medical program Mais Médicos (More Doctors), died last Thursday in Livramento de Nossa senhora, a small town in the northeatern Brazilian state of Bahía.
According to local news sources, Samón had sought medical treatment for abdominal pain, was given medication and released. He later returned and was admitted to the same hospital. While being transferred to another facility, however, he died. Initial reports listed pancreatitis as the cause of death.
According to official documents obtained by 14ymedio, Samón married a Brazilian woman, Josileny Samón, last April and began working at Mais Médicos on July 3, 2017.
More than 18,000 Cuban doctors have passed through Brazil since the two governments created the Mais Médicos program in 2013 in an effort to increase the presence of medical personnel in small towns and rural areas. The number of Cuban doctors in the program has decreased since the impeachment of former president Dilma Roussef. Nevertheless, the current figure stands at more than 8,000.
Brazil pays Havanna around 3,600 dollars a month per doctor, of which each physician receives a monthly stipend of 900 dollars from the Cuban government. However, neither Cuban medical professionals nor their families receive compensation in the event of accident or death.
The export of medical services is one of the main sources of income for the Cuban government, which currently has tens of thousands of health care professionals deployed in more than sixty countries. Their work has brought in more than 11.5 million dollars according to official statistics. Human rights activists have criticized this practice, describing it as “modern slavery.”
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