14ymedio, Mexico City, 16 June 2020 — The 585 Cuban doctors who arrived in Mexico in May to, according to authorities, provide support for the emergency caused by the Covid-19, are scheduled to stay until July 31, but if the cases continue to rise, their stay could be extended. This was stated by the Mexico City Secretary of Health Oliva López Arellano in an interview with Reuters.
She also acknowledged that Mexico’s National Institute of Health and Welfare (Insabi) is paying 135 million pesos (six million dollars) for this medical mission, one of the largest that has left Cuba, which already has 35 health brigades and 3,300 healthcare workers around the world.
This weekend, a dozen medical associations in Mexico published a letter to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador protesting the hiring of Cuban health workers, which they consider “a serious offense against health professionals,” while denouncing that the Cubans are, in their majority, general practitioners without specialties.
Asked about this in a radio interview this Tuesday for MVS, López Arellano justified the hiring of Cuban doctors due to Mexico’s deficit of medical personnel and asked the associations that raised the protest to participate in the “wide calls” that the Government has put out since March to treat patients with Covid-19.
“Wouldn’t it be better to spend six million dollars on tests than to pay it to the Fidel Castro regime?” asked journalist Luis Cárdenas. The secretary replied that this payment corresponds to a “comprehensive collaboration agreement,” which includes advice, exchange of good practices, protocolization of processes, epidemiological and community work, and direct care. “They are misstating the accounts,” she defended herself; “It is not a direct payment to a worker, but a set of activities that are supported through an agreement with Insabi.”
Parallel to the letter addressed to the Mexican president, a Mexican, Miguel De la Rosa, initiated a petition on change.org addressed to the local Government of Mexico and Insabi to request that the hiring of Cubans be terminated and that of national professionals be activated. The initiative has already exceeded 42,000 signatures out of a goal of 50,000.
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