Lopez Obrador and Cuba Negotiate a Mexican “Mais Medicos” Program

Doctors continue to arrive back in Cuba from Brazil after Cuba’s break with Brazil’s ’Mais Médicos’ (More Doctors) program. (Granma / Juvenal Balán)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 3 December 2018 — At least 3,000 professionals from Brazil’s Mais Médicos (More Doctors) might end up in Mexico if the negotiations between the government of new Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the authorities in Havana are successful. According to the newspapers Estadão and Cubanet, the negotiations began last September, after López Obrador’s election victory, to create a program similar to Brazil’s in Mexico, The negotiations have been led by Lázaro Cárdenas Batel, the new coordinator of advisors to the Mexican president.

“There is no one better than Lázaro Cárdenas Batel manage [the project] among the three countries,” said a source quoted in an exclusive. The official belongs to a family closely linked to the Mexican left and has friendships with members of the Brazilian Workers’ Party.

After the suspension of several flights, Cuban doctors in Brazil were informed that “there are no available airlines” and their trips were paralyzed, although they were scheduled to start again on Monday.

López Obrador has stated on numerous occasions that changes in the health system are a priority for him. “We want the right to healthcare to be guaranteed and, in Mexico, when the six-year [presidential] term ends, we will have a health system like Canada’s, England’s, and that in the Nordic countries; we will have a free quality health service for all the people of Mexico,” said the president-elect.

However, the now newly-inaugurated president of Mexico has promised a national austerity program difficult to combine with the universalization of free healthcare. An agreement similar to the Mais Médicos program — potentially bringing in thousands of Cuban doctors — can be the key to lowering the high costs of his commitment.


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