Cuban Government Disqualifies a Doctor for His Criticisms of the Healthcare System

Dr. Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre (making the “L for Libertad” gesture) expressed his ideas on his social networks leading the health authorities to accuse him of “moral damage to the sector” and to withdrew his qualifications. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 23 November 2021 — Retaliation against anyone who expresses themselves on social networks against Cuba’s current healthcare system continues. This Tuesday, a resolution signed by the Minister of Health, José Ángel Portal Miranda, “disqualifies from the exercise of [his] profession” Dr. Alexander Jesús Figueredo Izaguirre. “The arbitrariness and denigration continue” just because “I want a change and to see a free Cuba,” the doctor denounced.

In the notification, the health authorities argue that the doctor is “responsible for disseminating criteria and opinions that undermine the prestige and principles of the healthcare system and its professionals, exposing irregularities in his view, in the healthcare system, which he was not able to channel first through the corresponding levels for the sake of a timely solution.” This form of airing of “deficiencies,, affirm the authorities, caused a “moral damage to the sector.”

The notice adds that this type of conduct, in addition to representing “serious violations of work discipline,” is considered “contrary to ideological principles” and is established in article 25 of the Internal Disciplinary Regulation.

Just last April 26, Figueredo was “expelled” from his workplace. According to the resolution of the health authorities, he caused “moral damage to the sector” by denouncing on his social networks the deficient care in hospitals due to the shortage of medicines and clinical supplies and the mistreatment suffered by doctors in missions in Venezuela.

In a post, the specialist in Comprehensive General Medicine and resident in Urology detailed the points made which indicate that his way of thinking was the reason for the sanction. He recalled that in Cuba “we have been exposing everything that is badly done for 62 years and no solution has been found because for the dictatorship the problems that exist are simply because there is an embargo.”

To the non-material damage referred to again in the notification, for allegedly “manipulating” the information, the doctor with 15 years in the profession responds: “There is the evidence, they can come to the hospitals that are falling apart.”

He points out that the real reason for the shortage of supplies in work centers is the “negligence” of national leadership and that “instead of buying ambulances they buy cars for tourism and instead of fixing hospitals they build hotels. That is the real cause, not a blockade.”

Figueredo sees his disqualification as “one more strategy to get the dissidents out of the way and force them to leave the country.” At the same time, he admits that he is “afraid” because “they are going to put me in prison, they are going to give me 30 years simply for wanting a change.” The harassment is such that he is thinking about exile. “You have to leave now so as not to cry, because it is an impotence that I have inside.”

Figueredo notes that other doctors, have also Manuel Guerra, have also been violated for wanting a better Cuba. Guerra, who is part of the coordinating team of the Archipíelago Platform, was expelled on October 20 from his workplace for ideological reasons.

Guerra was one of the doctors who responded to Prime Minister Manuel Marrero when last August he accused the health personnel of doing a poor job, which allegedly provoked constant complaints from patients. “Marrero, how much indignation! How can he blame us doctors for his nonsense!” He wrote.

Figueredo also made reference to the original Holguín doctor Alexander Raúl Pupo Casas, fired for expressing his opinion on the political situation on the island. For this reason the authorities of the Ernesto Guevara hospital in Las Tunas removed him from his service at the end last September. The specialist was prevented from continuing his postgraduate degree in Neurosurgery.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.