Sao Paolo - Cuban doctors to replace missing doctors in Brazil. 4,000 doctors from the Caribbean island will start their service in Brazil by the end of the year, according to the Ministry of Health, Brazilian newspapers report today. In recent weeks, the government had tried unsuccessfully to work for the SUS (Sistema unico de Saude) public health system in underserved regions of the country.
In response to social protests in June, the government of President Dilma Rousseff announced last month that it would send 10,000 doctors to the regions affected by the lack of doctors by mid-September. In the first recruitment phase, however, significantly fewer candidates came forward than expected. So far, only 1,618 doctors have been accepted, including foreign specialists. Cities and counties reported need for 15,460 doctors in 3,511 local governments to the government.
In the next few days the first 400 Cubans should arrive, those in the north and Northeast will work. The Ministry of Health will assign them their jobs. The salary, 10,000 Brazilian reais (equivalent to around 3,095 euros), will be transferred directly to the Cuban government, according to the ministry. It is not known whether and how much of it will actually be paid out to the doctors.
The recruitment of foreign doctors has met with criticism from Brazilian associations. Neither the technical nor the linguistic qualifications of the foreigners are guaranteed. The Federal Medical Council CFM called the import of doctors an “irresponsible and disrespectful campaign trick”.
According to the government, all participants in the program should first be tested for their competence in three-week seminar. The second application round is currently running, results are not yet available. The state health system in Brazil suffers from low salaries compared to the private sector. Up to three times as much is paid there.