14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 1 August 2022 — The Institute of Health and Welfare (INSABI), an agency of the Government of Mexico, plans to cover the lack of 66 national specialists for the state of Colima with the hiring of another 60 Cuban doctors. The doctors will be assigned to rural areas, where there is a shortage of medicines, and 21% of the population (about 153,592 inhabitants) don’t have access to health services.
According to data offered to 14ymedio by an INSABI worker, doctors on the island will receive 2,042 dollars per month with “contracts of six months and one year of stay,” although it’s not known if the Government of Cuba will be the manager of the agreement and the one who distributes the salary, as happens in other medical brigades.
In Colima, the next arrival of Cuban gynecobstetricians, internists, anesthesiologists, pediatricians and surgeons is expected, “whose hiring will take place along with the regularization of 870 temporary workers,” doctors and nurses who were already working in state clinics.
This announcement is made a week after the arrival in the Mexican state of Nayarit of 54 doctors from the island, whose incorporation into second-level hospitals remains unknown, as well as the results of the evaluations to which they have been subjected, which will serve as a “leverage in the Directorate of Professionals,” a document that is also required of national doctors, according to the Secretary of Health of Nayarit, José Francisco Munguía. A source from the local health sector assures this newspaper that “some procedures have yet to be covered.”
“It was planned that, this Monday, at least part of the brigade was now going to join the hospitals in which they were assigned to start providing consultation,” says the local official. The federal health sector says it doesn’t know the reasons for the delay.
In the hospital, located in the town of Las Varas, in the municipality of Compostela, the health authorities also ignore the date of arrival of the Cuban doctors. “When do they arrive? No one knows,” says Rocío, a nurse from this town in the state of Nayarit who was contacted by 14ymedio. “All support is always welcome, but it bothers us that it is now that they pay attention to our hospital, which has so many needs, and all because of the arrival of Cuban doctors. Anyway, I hope they arrive soon.”
Nor have the residents of Puente de Camotlán (La Yesca), Jesús María (Del Nayar), San Francisco and Tondoroque (Bahía de Banderas) and the municipal capitals of Santiago Ixcuintla, Rosamorada and Ixtlán del Río received specific news about the Cuban doctors.
This Sunday, Xavier Tello, a doctor and health policy analyst, explained that in order for the Cubans to be able to practice their profession in Mexico, they require “a Mexican professional card to accredit their studies, and, in the case of specialists, they must have a certification from the Council of their specialty.”
Tello noted in an interview with Radio Fórmula that “the only way they can take care of a person is under the direct supervision of a Mexican doctor with a professional card, but they cannot issue a prescription or offer a diagnostic opinion.”
For the analyst, “the reality is that the Government of Mexico wants to give money to Cuba, period.” This will be done, according to Tello, through two channels: “Training these doctors and sending some Mexican interns to study on the island.”
This newspaper tried to contact, without success, the Cuban health workers, hosted until further notice at the La Palomas hotel, in Tepic. “They can’t take calls,” said the receptionist, who pointed out that they leave the hotel early and spend almost nine hours at the headquarters of the state delegation of the Mexican Social Security Institute of Nayarit.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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