Health Profession
publicado em 09/06/2013 às 16h23:00
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Doctors are one of the main export products of Cuba

Today, Cuba has 20 000 experts in 60 countries. The profits for the country with this product reach U.S. $ 5 billion / year

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The news that the Brazilian government is considering bringing Cuban doctors to the country sparked controversy last month. If implemented, these plans include Brazil in a long list of countries that already receive medical Caribbean island.

In Cuba, health professionals have a role much broader than simply meet the local population. For some time, the export of medical services has become crucial to the island's economy.

According to information passed on by the Foreign Ministry of the country to the BBC, the number of Cuban health professionals working outside the island currently reaches more than 20 000 experts, who work in 60 countries and generate profits millionaires regime - the most optimistic figures speak for up to U.S. $ 5 billion (£ 10.6 billion) per year.

The service that Cuban doctors provide to Venezuela, for example, allows Cuba to receive 100,000 barrels of oil daily. There are professionals in other island countries in the region, as well as about 4000 in Africa, more than 500 in Asia and Oceania and 40 in Europe. Officials said Venezuela would pay for these services consultation - and cheaper cost $ 8 (U.S. $ 17) in 2008. South Africa already pay monthly U.S. $ 7000 (U.S. $ 14,900) per physician of the island.

For many developing countries, the attraction of the Cuban doctors is that they are willing to work in places that local practitioners avoid - as in neighborhoods in the suburbs or in rural areas difficult to access - where people live with low purchasing power. Moreover, in general, they also accept to receive lower wages.

In 1959, the year of the Cuban Revolution, the country had only 6000 physicians, and half of them emigrated after the move. The health crisis that followed this emigration alerted the government to the need to train health professionals apace. Now, more than half a century later, the country has 75 000 doctors - one for every 160 inhabitants, the highest rate in Latin America.

Much of the doctors who stayed on the island after the Revolution became teachers, medical schools were opened throughout the country and priority access of students to the sector. All facilitated by the fact that education be free.

Among the residents of the island, the export of medical generates controversy. The formation of many health professionals allowed Cuba created the figure of the family doctor, professional serving neighborhoods and directs patients to specialists or hospitals. This is precisely the program most affected by the output of doctors abroad. The closure of some of the nursing homes creates dissatisfaction among the Cubans, increases the concentration of patients per doctor and the waiting time.

Abroad, however, these health professionals receive much higher wages than those working in Cuba. Alicia (not her real name) said he worked in Venezuela for seven years and ensures that, despite already being retired, "if I were asked to come back, accept without hesitation."

"What motivated me was the opportunity to work with the support to diabetics, because I suffer from the disease. Started meeting people who lost vision because of it," he said. According to her, another attraction was the possibility of earning more money because the salary in Cuba was not enough.

"I came to Venezuela bolivars gaining 400 [U.S. $ 135], but the pay was rising and before going back [to Cuba], earned 1400 bolivars [R $ 474]."

Joan (not her real name), 35, is a doctor in Cuba. When newly formed, left husband and 4 year old daughter on the island to work in Venezuela, with the objective to develop professionally, knowing the world and improve their economic situation. "There was absolutely nothing. Due to the mission, mobiliei all my house."

Now she has the chance to travel again. "The government has called me to work in Brazil, in much better condition than in Venezuela," he told the BBC.

In Brazil, according to the initial project, announced in early May, the government was studying hire 6000 Cuban doctors to work mainly in remote areas of the country. The Federal Council of Medicine (CFM), however, expressed "concern" about the possibility of foreign doctors act in Brazil without going through screening tests, claiming that it could expose the population to "risk situations".

   Palavras-chave:   Import doctors    Cuba    Cuba    Export of medical   
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