Photo: picture alliance/dpa/J. GOITIA / Deutsche Welle
López Obrador justified his decision by indicating that Mexico has a deficit of some 50,000 general practitioners and specialists, and that many professionals are reluctant to be assigned to remote or difficult-to-reach areas. As an example, he cited the lack of pediatricians in rural areas.
“We do not have specialists to go to work in hospitals, in the poorest, most remote areas,” assured the leftist president during his daily conference at the National Palace in Mexico City.
Doctors would go to Guerrero, one of the poorest states
The president requested the contract from his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Díaz-Canel, during a visit to Havana on May 8, in which it was also agreed to buy pediatric vaccines against covid-19 from the island.
As he said, the Cuban doctors will be sent to areas such as Tlapa, a municipality in the state of Guerrero (south), considered one of the most impoverished in the country. “We are hiring all the doctors, but since we know that we are not going to have to cover the entire network of health centers, rural medical units, hospitals, that is why we are making this agreement to bring 500 doctors,” he insisted.
Mexicans reject “relegation of national professionals”
Mexican authorities had already employed a similar number of Cuban professionals in 2020 to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. Mexican medical associations reject that the government go to these doctors, considering that this “unfairly relegates” the country’s professionals.
“These foreign doctors do not meet the required skills, they do not have duly specified functions, they do not have the requirements established by current laws,” the Federations, Associations and Medical Colleges of Mexico recently stated in a statement.
López Obrador disqualified these statements for considering that “they do not like free health because they consider health to be a privilege” and defend “that anyone who has money to pay can be treated,” he remarked.
López Obrador also maintained that Cuban doctors will earn as much as Mexicans and that he does not interfere in the way in which Havana pays their salaries, in the face of complaints from Mexican opponents that the Cuban government makes an unfair distribution of those resources.
jov (afp, Forbes.com.mx)