14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 29 May 2023 — Under the argument of “reserved file,” the Government of Mexico shielded the information on public spending that will be allocated to the hiring of more than 1,200 Cuban doctors to be sent to remote areas and the disbursement for the purchase of 9,000,000 doses of the Abdala vaccine, without the endorsement of the World Health Organization (WHO), for the reinforcement campaign against COVID-19. Some of the vaccines are about to expire.
The federal Secretary of Health said that the data requested by the newspaper Reforma through the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI), could not be made public because they were considered national security and could “harm” the relationship with Cuba.
The payment to Cuban health workers “is part of the contract for the acquisition of the Abdala vaccine,” the federal Health unit said in the request for transparency.
The Mexican Government has an evident secrecy about these specialists and the validation of their studies, mandatory in the Aztec country to be able to prescribe for patients. At least twenty of these doctors were rejected in the state of Morelos for not having a professional card.
A report to 14ymedio in August, 2022, revealed that for 610 specialists on the Island, the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador paid $1,308,922 per month, money that is managed by the Comercializadora de Servicios Médicos Cubanos, S.A.
The collaboration agreement signed by the director of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMISS) Zoé Robledo and the president of the Comercializadora de Servicios Médicos Cubanos, S.A., Yamila Ramona de Armas Águila, specifies that the payment is 1,177,300 euros per month, not in another currency, through bank transfer. The López Obrador Administration has the first 10 days of each month to make the disbursement.
The July 2022 agreement established that the Cuban doctors will work eight hours a day for five days. Those who cover night shifts will work nine hours for three days.
In September of last year, two months after the agreement was made official, it was specified in one of the clauses that Cuban health workers would have “guaranteed accommodation, food and transport services” in the states to which they were sent. This newspaper has delved into the benefits, which in some cases are à la carte dinners.
Among the reserved information is also that relating to the Abdala vaccine, which without approval from the WHO was acquired by Mexico to be applied as a booster against COVID-19, and a few months ago it was accepted to be administered to children.
At least 90,000 of these biologicals will expire in July, and another almost 70,000 that were sent to Oaxaca will expire in August. In addition, more than 636,000 doses are refrigerated, unused due to the distrust of the Mexicans.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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