14ymedio, Havana, 22 October 2022 — The Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador will pay more than $2,600 a month for each of the 749 foreign doctors he invited on October 11 to fill positions in remote areas of Mexico. The amount almost doubles the $1,400 that national physicians currently receive, according to data from the Government of Mexico.
“It’s an insult to Mexican doctors,” Marco Antonio, an orthopaedist who works in Mexico, tells this newspaper. “It’s not fair that while my salary is $1,600 a month, they’re giving $1,000 more to foreigners.”
He also explained that the data isn’t a surprise: “There’s a disparity between the salaries of the Institute of Health for Well-being (INSABI), those of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), and the Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers (ISSSTE).”
According to the Centre for Economic and Budgetary Research (CIEP), last year the salary of a specialist doctor was between $830 and $2,300. While at the INSANI, the average salary is $2,000; in the IMSS it is $537, and in the ISSSTE it’s $780.
Of the 2,067 applications received by the Mexican Government, 104 are from Cubans, said the general director of the IMSS, Zoé Robledo, last Tuesday. Another 169 specialists come from the United States, Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela.
For the contracted health workers, Mexico will pay the “round-trip airfare, transfer to the place of residence and work center, immigration procedures and requirements, academic validation of educational institutions, food support, and accommodation.” In total, expenses of $36,000 per year are expected for each doctor.
This salary is also higher than that received by the 436 Cubans from a group of 642 hired by the Government of Mexico, who are already serving in several hospitals in marginalized areas. The López Obrador Administration pays the Island $2,042 per specialist and $1,722 for each general practitioner.
Robledo confirmed that the hiring of new Cuban specialists will be carried out through the Island’s Ministry of Health and Cuban Medical Services, S.A. The latter company, created in 2011, has been accused internationally of human trafficking and forced labor.
The last week of August, the Madrid-based organization Prisoners Defenders (PD) revealed in its report, “The military truth behind Cuban medical missions in Mexico,” that the more than 600 Cubans hired by Mexico “are military” and “none is a specialist doctor” (only family doctors or generalists).
The president of PD, Javier Larrondo, denounced the López Obrador Government for “allowing slavery on Mexican soil” and “financing” the Cuban regime.
Meanwhile, Beatriz Pagés, former deputy of Mexico and director of Siempre magazine, pointed out that the mission of the Cuban doctors is “more political, more military and more indoctrination than health.”
The most demanded specialties in that country are gynecology, obstetrics and anesthesia. Personnel specialized in pediatrics, general surgery, orthopedics, internal medicine, cardiology, neurosurgery, neonatology, ophthalmology, oncology, and cardiology are also needed.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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