The return of Cuban health professionals who are in Brazil will begin later this week and should conclude in mid-December, in addition to being assured the transfer of all their belongings, authorities from the Ministries of Public Health (Minsap) and Transport (Mitrans) informed in Havana.
Doctor Jorge Delgado Bustillo, director of the Central Unit of Medical Cooperation, said that together with a group of agencies of the Central Administration of the State, they have been working for days with a view to the orderly and smooth return of those who honestly fulfilled their international duty, as part of the More Doctors for Brazil Program, now obstructed by the newly elected president.
Upon arrival in the homeland, everyone will be received at the José Martí international airport from where they will immediately depart to their territories, and also in their respective workplaces and communities to offer them the welcome they deserve, as was done with those who recently fulfilled their mission and arrived a few hours after the Declaration of the Minsap was announced that they would not continue participating in the aforementioned program, in the face of threats from the president-elect of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro.
Delgado Bustillo reiterated that these aid workers, as well as all those who collaborate today in 66 other countries, are guaranteed employment and the possibility, if they so wish, of providing their solidarity services in other nations where Cuba has health professionals.
He clarified that while waiting for his definitive return to his homeland, "our doctors will continue to provide assistance to the Brazilian population".
Eduardo Rodríguez Dávila, First Deputy Minister of Transportation, reported that this organization, together with Minsap and other institutions, works intensely to ensure the safe transfer, and as quickly as possible, of all belongings or equipment of Cuban aid workers, including household goods.
Authorities from Transcargo and Palco will travel to Brazil to coordinate with cargo operating entities, with which they have contracts, the shipment, either by air or sea, of these cargoes, which once in Havana will be extracted in the shortest time and will be free of customs duties, as well as the luggage accompanying the doctors, according to a note from the General Customs of the Republic.
The First Deputy Minister of Transportation said that also in order to avoid setbacks, the collaborators themselves are being asked to comply with Brazilian legislation and to carry out personal procedures without delay in order to request the transfer of their belongings and better organize operations.
Recently, Minsap announced that Cuba will not continue to participate in the More Doctors Program, an initiative promoted by the government of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff to expand access to health care in the South American giant.
This Cuban government decision is due to the new conditions proposed by the elected president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, who, ignoring the established agreements and participation in the agreement of the Pan American Health Organization, has announced changes and conditions that question the preparation of Cuban doctors, and proposes unacceptable measures that do not comply with the guarantees agreed upon since the beginning of the Program.
The presence of Cuba in the project was coordinated through this international organization and has distinguished itself by occupying positions not covered by Brazilian doctors or of other nationalities.
In five years, close to 20,000 collaborators on the island treated 113,359,000 patients, many of them inhabitants of places where a doctor arrived for the first time or in places of extreme poverty.