Jul 27, 2022 (OrinocoTribune.com)—A group of Cuban doctors have arrived in Mexico as part of a bi-national agreement on healthcare between Cuba and Mexico which was signed in May. The arrival of the Cuban medical specialists was announced on Saturday, July 23, by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. These doctors will serve the villages of Rosamorada region in the state of Nayarit, he stated.
During his speech at an event for the supervision of the Health Plan of the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS-Bienestar) Nayarit, the president highlighted that this initiative is a part of one of the main priorities of his government, which is to ensure the right to health of all Mexicans. The group of Cuban doctors who have arrived in Mexico were present at the event.
“We are going to achieve the goal of having a good healthcare system for the people without social security… those who do not have insurance, those who do not have the money to go to a doctor with a private practice,” AMLO said in his speech.
The agreement with Cuba to contract 500 doctors from that country is aimed at counteracting the lack of specialists in public healthcare centers of Mexico, especially in the rural and marginalized regions of the country.
More doctors from Cuba will arrive in Mexico to serve the residents of the poorest and most far-flung and inhospitable territories of the country, the president added.
Some of the doctors who are currently in Nayarit will later be sent to different parts of the state of Colima, while those who will arrive in the coming months will be posted in Guerrero, Oaxaca and other southern states, all of which suffer from an acute deficit of medical professionals, particularly in the rural and mountainous areas.
After AMLO had made public the matter of the contract with Cuba, a number of doctors, leaders of opposition parties, and opinion writers from the mainstream media condemned the move, claiming that the Obrador administration is taking away the jobs of Mexican medical professionals. Some analysts, on the other hand, commented that this was a concerted move, that it was part of the United States’ efforts to discredit Cuban medical internationalism.
Moreover, as Mexican Secretary of Health Dr. Jorge Alcocer has pointed out, most of those professionals who have criticized the agreement with Cuba refuse to serve in poor neighborhoods and rural communities. In fact, in June the government launched a call for applications from specialists to fill 14,323 vacant posts at health centers throughout the country. Yet, until July 19, only 2,621 positions could be filled, as was reported by IMSS Director Zoé Robledo at Saturday’s event. The call for applications is still open, he announced.
Orinoco Tribune’s special by Saheli Chowdhury
Saheli Chowdhury is from West Bengal, India, studying physics for a profession, but with a passion for writing. She is interested in history and popular movements around the world, especially in the Global South. She is a contributor and works for Orinoco Tribune.