The Wall Street Journal reports Cuba’s government has agreed to give its doctors working in Brazil a modest pay increase, which may help ease some criticism over a controversial Brazilian government program to expand health care.
Over the last year, Brazil has recruited thousands of foreign doctors for its Mais Medicos program designed to send doctors into rural areas or poorer parts of major cities where there is little or no medical service. A vast majority of the doctors come from Cuba, under an agreement coordinated by the Pan-American Health Organization, or PAHO.
Brazil says it pays all the foreign doctors in the program a salary of 10,400 reais ($4,430) a month. In the case of the Cubans, the money is paid through PAHO to the Cuban government, which then passes on a much smaller amount to the doctors.
Under the new deal Cuban doctors will be paid $1,245 a month, up from $1,000 previously, according to the Brazilian health ministry. Moreover, the Cuban doctors will receive all of that amount in Brazil. Before, the Cuban government deposited $600 into an account in Cuba, according to the health ministry.
There are currently 6,650 doctors working under the Mais Medicos program, and the Brazilian government aims to reach 13,000 by April, which it says would help some 45 million people—nearly one quarter of Brazil’s population. Read the whole story here.