Cuban Doctors in Exile in Brazil Will Return to Work in Health Centers

Of the group of Cuban health professionals who stayed in Brazil, approximately 700 have regularized their situation and are able to work in their profession. (OPS)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 11 July 2019 —  The Brazilian government is shaping a provisional measure so that Cuban doctors exiled in that country can rejoin the health care  field in August, according to the Brazilian newspaper Estadao .

The objective of the authorities is that the Cuban physicians can return to work providing basic care in the Unified Health System (SUS) for a period of two years. At the end of that period, they will have to validate their diploma in order to continue working, explains the note.

This plan is aimed at Cuban professionals who worked in the Más Médicos program and who, after the proposal comes into force, will be able to obtain a special credential to carry out their work in health centers.

The draft of the measure should be presented to parliamentarians this week and the proposal is expected to advance without major obstacles in the National Congress. There are still some points to be defined, including the new name of the program because Mais Médicos has become a registered trademark of the Government of Dilma Rousseff.

Brazilian authorities estimate that 2,000 of the more than 8,000 Cuban doctors who worked in the South American country remained in the country after the end of the Mais Médicos program, suspended by the Government of Cuba after a criticism from then president-elect, Jair Bolsonaro.

Of the group of health professionals who stayed in Brazil, approximately 700 have regularized their residency situation, because they are married to citizens of that country, but most have not yet been able to validate their credentials.

Last February, these doctors sent a letter to US Senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez asking both politicians to continue supporting the efforts to restore the Cuban Medical Professional Parole, repealed by former President Barack Obama in 2017, which granted US visas to Health professionals who leave international missions in Cuba.

A month later, the Brazilian government announced that it sought to regularize the situation of these doctors and the Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, explained that these professionals had been left in limbo because they could not practice in the country but the Cuban government considered them deserters for not having returned to the Island.

However, from Havana the Ministry of Public Health responded to this offer saying that it was in a position to receive Cuban doctors, “including those who decided not to return at the conclusion of their mission” in Brazil and offer them employment in the national health system, according to a statement released by state media.


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