Brazil’s Health Ministry, PAHO To Bring 4K Doctors From Cuba

“The Brazilian Health Ministry signed an agreement Wednesday with the U.S.-based Pan American Health Organization, or PAHO, to bring 4,000 doctors from Cuba by the end of the year,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “They will participate in a program — known as Mais Medicos, or ‘more doctors’ — that the government launched in July amidst massive street demonstrations calling for better public services such as health care,” the newspaper writes, adding, “Under the program, Brazil’s federal government pays doctors a monthly salary of 10,000 Brazilian reais ($4,098) to work three years in urban slums and other needy areas such as rural towns, the Amazon River basin and impoverished northeastern states, where medics have long been scarce.” The newspaper notes, “The plan, which was initially announced in May, sparked a backlash from some Brazilian medical groups, which called into question the qualifications of their Cuban counterparts. It also drew comparisons with Venezuela, where the late President Hugo Chavez famously sent the Castro regime cheap oil in exchange for thousands of Cuban health care professionals” (Kiernan, 8/21).