Brazil to deploy 6,000 Cuban doctors in remote areas: minister

BRASILIA Tue May 7, 2013 4:28am IST

Related Topics

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil plans to hire 6,000 Cuban doctors to serve in remote parts of the country where medical services are deficient or nonexistent, despite controversy over the quality of their training.

Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota said on Monday negotiations were under way involving the Washington-based Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) to allow the Cuban doctors to practice in Brazil.

Brazilian medical associations have opposed Cuban-trained doctors practicing in their country, arguing that standards at Cuba's medical schools are lower than in Brazil and equivalent in some cases to a nursing education in Brazil.

Over the past decade Cuba's communist government has sent 30,000 doctors to work in poor neighborhoods of Venezuela, Havana's closest political ally in Latin America, under an agreement reached with the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez that involved an exchange of medical services for cheap oil.

The Cubans are expected to be sent to poor corners of the Northeast of Brazil and the Amazon jungle where Brazilian doctors are reluctant to serve.

"Cuba is very proficient in the areas of medicine, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology and Brazil is considering receiving Cubans doctors in talks that involve PAHO," Patriota said at a news conference with Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

The Federal Council of Medicine, a body that represents doctors in Brazil, criticized as "irresponsible" the government's proposal to allow in doctors whose "technical and ethical quality was in doubt."

It issued a statement demanding foreign doctors be recertified in Brazil before being allowed to practice.

Foreign Minister Patriota said the plan to bring Cuban doctors to Brazil would strengthen ties between Havana and Brasilia that have expanded since the leftist Worker's Party came to power a decade ago.

He announced that Brazil will finance the modernization of five airports in Cuba, where Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht is already building a container terminal at the port of Mariel.

Earlier on Monday in Havana, Brazil's Trade Minister Fernando Pimentel signed an agreement setting conditions for a $176 million loan from its giant development bank BNDES to upgrade and expand the airports of Havana, Santa Clara, Holguin, Cayo Coco and Cayo Largo.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

FILED UNDER:
Photo

After wave of QE, onus shifts to leaders to boost economy

DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.

Reuters Showcase

Banking Revolution

Banking Revolution

India turns to corner shops, mobile phones for banking revolution.  Full Article 

Nuclear Group

Nuclear Group

China urges India to take steps to satisfy standards of NSG  Full Article 

Gold Market

Gold Market

Chinese gold demand holds up ahead of holiday, Indian buying weak  Full Article 

India-U.S. Relations

India-U.S. Relations

Column - U.S. and India should join to balance China's rise  Full Article 

Padma Bhushan

Padma Bhushan

India honours Bill Gates with civilian award  Full Article 

Fashionable Modi

Fashionable Modi

When Modi met Obama, his name was all over - his suit  Full Article 

Nuclear Deal

Nuclear Deal

Obama reveals nuclear breakthrough on landmark India trip  Full Article 

Australian Open

Australian Open

Serena avenges French Open loss to reach quarter-finals.  Full Article 

Climate Change

Climate Change

U.S.-China climate deal does not put pressure on India, says Modi  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage