14ymedio, Havana, 18 August 2021 — More than twenty Cuban doctors have denounced the health collapse in a new video and have shown solidarity with their colleagues who, last weekend, broadcast another audiovisual to demand supplies and protest against the criticism of the sector launched by Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero.
On this occasion, and in a video of a little more than four minutes, 23 health workers express their complaints about the lack of medicines, means of protection to work, and oxygen to save the lives of patients, amid a resurgence of cases of Covid-19 that has put the battered health system of the island in check.
“Our patients need help,” warns the resident in angiology and vascular surgery Julio C. Hernández at the beginning of the recording. “We also need help, we do not want more people to continue dying,” adds the doctor in his brief complaint dated, like that of the rest of the doctors who participate in the audiovisual, on August 16.
“We demand that we be treated with respect,” claims internal medicine specialist Reinier Ávalos, who also requires “adequate means of protection to be able to work.” A request expanded by Dr. Jorge L. Báez: “We request more support from health personnel, fewer demands, fewer complaints.”
The criticisms of the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, against health personnel have unleashed a storm that comes at the worst moment for the Government. The doctors, whose internationalist missions are the main source of economic resources for the regime, have started a rebellion against the leaders of the country, which is still living under the effects of the July 11 protests.
In the video released this Wednesday, the neurosurgery specialist Linda I. Green asks for “drugs and supplies to provide care for our patients.” Several of the doctors used the comments to speak about the concept of “healthcare collapse,” a definition that the Cuban authorities reject and that they prefer to substitute that of “overstretched hospitals.”
“We see ourselves collapsed at the institutional and national level. We demand supplies to treat our patients with dignity and decorum,” stresses resident Rosell Albertaris, while Óscar E. López takes the opportunity to show his solidarity with colleagues from the Vladimir Ilich Lenin Hospital, from Holguín, who made the first demand video.
Since Marrero accused the Cienfuegos health workers of “neglect” last week and pointed to subjective causes as the main reason for patient complaints, the complaints against the prime minister have spread to several provinces, but have been especially energetic in Holguín, one of the regions most affected by the outbreak of the pandemic.
“Let’s not tell any more lies and let’s assume things as they are,” warns Luis Miranda, a resident in anesthesiology and resuscitation, an opinion shared by his colleague Dr. Blanca who adds that “what is happening now is untenable. It is sad and very painful, and I believe that anyone who feels committed to the oath they took should feel the same. “
As part of the responses to Marrero, several personal and collective letters from health workers have also circulated in recent days that point out the problems they must overcome every day to be able to do their work in the midst of collapsed hospitals due to cases of contagion, the lack of medicines and the few protective supplies they have.
This avalanche of critical opinions from a sector considered for decades to be in line with government policies coincides with the approval of strict legislation to control the opinions that are published from the Island on the internet. Under these new regulations, issuing any opinion that damages “the prestige of the country” can be considered a crime.
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