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    Controversy Rages in Chile on the Recruitment of Cuban Doctors

    Controversy Rages in Chile on the Recruitment of Cuban Doctors / 14ymedio
    Posted on November 19, 2015

    14ymedio, Havana, 7 November 2015 – Critics of the potential arrival of
    Cuban doctors in Chile have raised their tone in recent weeks in the
    South American country. Marisol Turres, national deputy from the
    Independent Democratic Union (UDI) party, denounced that the situation
    is almost one of “human trafficking” and questioned the conditions
    imposed by the Cuban government on its doctors working in Chile.

    The proposal to contract for Cuban doctors has been pushed by Alejandor
    Navarro, a senator from the Broad Social Movement (MAS), who, at the end
    of September, was backed by the majority of mayors in the country.
    However, the Chilean Association of Medical Faculties (ASOFAMECH)
    clarified that while it was not opposed to the arrival of the
    professionals, they must past the Unified National Examination of
    Medical Knowledge (Eunacom).

    The Chilean Medical Faculties have warned that, of the 787 doctors
    licensed in Cuba, equally split between Chileans and foreigners
    residing in the country, of those who have so far taken the theory
    section of the national examination, only 23.5% have passed on the first
    attempt, and an additional 12% have managed to pass on the second, third
    or even the fourth attempt.

    Those who are concerned about the arrival of the physicians, as is the
    case with UDI deputy Turres, also demand that the Ministry of Health
    (Minsal) pressure the Meidcal College to train specialists and oblige
    the scholarship students to work in public service when they finish

    Although she declared she is not against the initiative, in addition to
    her concern about “human trafficking,” Turres laments that “it is a
    terrible violation of human rights, because the Cuban government
    expropriates a large portion of their salaries, and their families must
    stay in Cuba… Let them come with their families and keep 100% of the
    payments from the State of Chile and not have most of their pay taken by
    the country they come from.”

    At the end of September, 225 mayors delivered a letter to the branch
    ministry, which supports the arrival of the Cuban doctors to make up for
    a deficit of 3,795 doctors, and to resolve “the waiting lists, while
    Chile trains its specialists.”

    While the debate heats up in Chile, thousands of health professionals on
    the island dream of a new “medical mission” abroad, which allows them to
    earn higher incomes. For the Cuban government it is a lucrative
    business, since the export of health services to some 40 countries
    represents 64% of total income from services. According to the director
    of the Commercialization of Medical Services, Yilian Jimenez, Cuba
    expects to gross more than 8.2 billion dollars from the program in 2015.

    Source: Controversy Rages in Chile on the Recruitment of Cuban Doctors /
    14ymedio | Translating Cuba –