14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 15 July 2023 — The Mexican Government paid Cuba $9,667,115 between July 2022 and May of this year for a contingent of 718 doctors, according to a source from the Ministry of Health who requested anonymity. Of the specialists, 128 are still receiving training or processing the necessary documentation to practice, and the remaining 590 have already been distributed in 11 states of Mexico.
Among the 128 Cuban health workers who are in training, there are 18 specialists who were rejected in Morelos for not having a professional card. “These doctors are all in the same state, and their documentation is being expedited to be forwarded to another region.”
According to the official transparency portal – a publicly accessible information platform – the contract, which entered into force in May 2022, requires a monthly disbursement of 1,177,300 euros by Mexico for the services of 610 Cuban health workers. The payment was initially established under the name of the Comercializadora de Servicios Médicos Cubanos, but since September it was redirected to the company Neuronic Mexicana, which is a subsidiary of Neuronic S.A. Cuba.
Since 2018, according to the official, Neuronic Mexicana has been representing the products and services of the Island’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, and the president, Tania Guerra, is a Cuban. The company “is in charge of receiving the salary of the Cuban specialists.” In summary, it has “custody of and administer the funds that the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) allocates to the contingent,” he added.
The doctors, who arrived in the middle of last year with the intention of establishing a base in the Montaña de Guerrero, one of the most troubled points in Mexico due to its high poverty rates and the presence of several cartels that dispute the drug transport channels, have been relocated to the states of Baja California Sur, Campeche, Colima, Michoacán, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Sonora, Tlaxcala, Veracruz and Zacatecas.
According to official data from the federal Ministry of Health, only 43 specialists in cardiology, otolaryngology and gastroenterology were sent, although they had also promised the arrival of pediatricians. Despite this, the state government, led by an ally of President López Obrador, proclaimed the increase in consultations and the improvement of medical services.
In the Ometepec region, located on the Costa Chica de Guerrero, three Cubans joined the Tomás Molina hospital in the last week of June. These doctors “cannot talk to the media,” a nurse from the medical center itself confirmed by telephone to 14ymedio. “Annel [the cardiologist] cannot attend to them; both she and the dermatologist and the other doctor need authorization from their coordinator,” Alfredo González Lorenzo, the nurse replied when this newspaper requested direct contact with the Cuban specialists.
As part of the Guerrero health project for this year, the deployment of four Cuban psychiatrists in mental health caravans, in addition to offering itinerant services, will collaborate in the hospitals of San Marcos, Tlapa, Coyuca de Catalán and Chilpancingo. The plan for mental health specialists has been questioned, because the main causes of death in the state are diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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