‘Here We Do Not Receive a Salary, Only a Stipend’, Admits a Cuban Doctor in Mexico

Part of a group of 13 Cuban specialists who are in the Mexican state of Michoacán. (Government of Michoacán)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Mexico, February 2, 2023 — The 620 Cuban doctors who have been in Mexico since January 27 receive from the Government of Cuba “a stipend for their needs.” With those words spoken in an improvised interview, uploaded to YouTube by the newspaper Reforma, the Cuban geriatrician Juan Andrés Echemendía, stressed: “We do not receive a salary here.”

“Our salary is in our country, in Cuba,” insisted this specialist, who affirms that they still do not have “the certainty” of how much the stipend will be. According to the legal agreement collected and announced in August last year by Prisoners Defenders, the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) Bienestar will give the Comercializadora de Servicios Médicos de Cuba, S.A. up to 1,283,728 dollars per month (more than 15 million dollars a year).

La Comercializadora, identified by human rights organizations, agreed with Mexico in May of last year to hire 641 specialists. An official who opts for anonymity revealed to 14ymedio that for each specialist the Government of the Island will pocket 2,042 dollars per month and for the services of a general practitioner 1,722 dollars.

Echemendía is one of the Cuban doctors who was received last Sunday by the Morelos authorities at the IMSS Bienestar hospital in Temixco María de la Luz Delgado Morales. He arrived in Mexico two days earlier along with a group of 68 health workers.

The general director of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), Zoé Robledo, said that 10 specialists in geriatrics and gerontology arrived, 9 in dermatology, 7 in allergies, 6 in physical medicine and rehabilitation, 6 in ophthalmology, 4 in general surgery, 3 in cardiology, 3 in internal medicine and another 20 undefined.

According to Robledo, these health workers will provide service after receiving introductory courses in the states of Colima (11), Guerrero (11), Michoacán (8), Morelos (8), Tlaxcala (8), Oaxaca (5), Veracruz (5), Baja California Sur (3), Campeche (3), Nayarit (3), Zacatecas (2) and Sonora (1).

The authorities did not offer details about whether the hospitals in which the specialists will be located are in remote areas, which is supposedly why they were hired by the Administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The Cuban dermatologist Ramón González Rodríguez, who proclaimed that they are there “voluntarily” and at the request of the Mexican government, announced that an anesthesiologist, a geriatrician and a dermatologist would stay at the Temixco hospital, but he did not know the fate of the other 5 health workers.

As usual, the accommodation, food and transport of the specialists will be covered by the state governments.

Translated by Regina Anavy 


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