The 54 Cuban Doctors in Nayarit, Mexico, Still Can’t See Patients

The delegation of Cuban doctors is housed in a hotel in downtown Tepic, in the Mexican state of Nayarit. (Twitter/@MarcosRguezC)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ángel Salinas, Mexico, 29 June 2022 — Almost a week after the arrival of 54 Cuban doctors in the state of Nayarit, they are not yet allowed to see patients in the territory. A source from the local health sector confirmed to 14ymedio that they must undergo “study evaluations” before providing services in the hospitals in the seven marginal areas and the Tepic clinic to which they were assigned in Mexico.

On Thursday, the Secretary of Health of Nayarit, José Francisco Munguía, agreed to have the island’s doctors evaluated. “The [test] they do today defines if they are already ready,” he said, because, although “they are already demanding them from me” in the units, Cuban health workers must have a “leverage in the Directorate of Professionals,” a document that is also required of national doctors.

Article 5 of the Mexican Constitution establishes that, for the “exercise of one or more specialties, authorization from the General Directorate of Professions is required.” The retired minister of the nation’s Supreme Court of Justice, José Ramón Cossío, explained that to qualify for this permit, Cuban health workers “have to obtain the corresponding certificate.”

Sofía, a Mexican specialist who has had contact with the Cuban brigade, questioned the validity of the evaluation: “What they have received are lectures by some colleagues on specific topics and administrative training.”

One of these lectures was given by cardiologist Alejandra González, from the High Specialty Cardiological Unit. This specialist said that during the exchange of views on the treatment to be followed in patients with acute infarction, she was able to calibrate the level of the Cuban health workers.

“There I knew that there was nothing to discuss, that we are in two parallel worlds, different worlds in which the Mexican Government romantically wants to see the doctors of a third world country as a salvation,” Gónzalez said on her social networks.

The Mexican cardiologist specified: “Medical specialists asked me for the PowerPoint [slides] file to read again from there! I am perhaps more disappointed than annoyed, and maybe I am judging and generalizing, but if we examine them, I don’t think they’re ready.”

The lack of preparation of the doctors was also questioned by Gabriel Quadri, a deputy opposed to the Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who also filed a complaint in March with the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic “for human trafficking, labor exploitation and forced labor,” when the hiring of 500 Cuban doctors by the Government of Mexico was confirmed.

A report revealed that the doctors on the island who arrived last year to support Mexico during the pandemic limited themselves to “making beds, taking vital signs, conducting surveys and passing sponges to patients to bathe.”

14ymedio verified that the 54 Cuban doctors who are currently in the country remain at the La Palomas hotel. “We have a crowd due to a doctors’ convention, but as of August 1, there is availability in the 75 rooms we have,” the receptionist said, by phone.

The hotel, which costs from $52 to $83 per night, has 67 standard rooms, six junior suites and two suites, all with cable TV, telephone, air conditioning and wireless network. Guests have free access to the pool and a jacuzzi.

The deputy of the opposition National Action Party, Mariana Gómez del Campo, expressed her disagreement with the hiring of 500 Cuban health workers by the Government of Mexico, “since the purpose of these missions is to enslave and exploit people.” According to her, in order for them to practice “they need a Mexican professional card” that they “don’t yet have.”

In Ixtlán del Río, one of the municipal capitals of Nayarit where health workers are expected to arrive, a residence has already been set up for two internists and two Cuban pediatricians. In the municipal presidency they are aware that the delay is due to an administrative obstacle.

In the hospital of the municipality of Rosamorada, however, they claim to be unaware of the causes for the delay. In this health center, which will be attended by eight Cuban doctors, 30 to 34 specialized consultations are offered, and up to three surgeries and three deliveries have been performed per day.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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