Dignity, Principles Guide Cuban Doctors

Havana, Nov 21 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s decision of withdrawing from the Brazilian More Doctors Program is a matter of principles and dignity, Ariadna Gonzalez, a specialist in Gastroenterology, said in this capital on Wednesday.

In statements to Prensa Latina, the doctor -who fulfilled her mission as a collaborator in Venezuela- highlighted the long history of the Cuban medical presence in dozens of countries, where she has been an example of solidarity.

Last Wednesday, the Cuban Ministry of Public Health announced the decision of withdrawing from the initiative created in 2013 to guarantee medical attention in poor and remote areas of Brazil, given the conditions and threats of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

‘His position has been one-sided and disrespectful to the thousands of doctors who worked in the most remote places in Brazil,’ he said, referring to Bolsonaro’s questions about the preparation of Cuban collaborators.

According to Gonzalez, the president-elect with his hostility will leave millions of people without primary health care, by affecting the More Doctors Program, in which nearly 20,000 Cuban doctors served in five years.

‘Currently, many of the indigenous communities that received medical attention in recent years, perhaps for the first time, were part of the consecration and commitment of Cuban doctors,’ she said.

On Tuesday, the International Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity-Brazil Chapter warned that some 44 million people will be without health care from 2019 on, in more than 2,000 municipalities in the interior of the country.

Gonzalez regretted this scenario but insisted on the principled position taken by Cuba.

For me, she said, it is unacceptable to discuss the dignity and professionalism of Cuban collaborators, who, supported by their families and the State, currently provide services in more than 60 countries.

‘Health professionals in Brazil have not only been oriented towards primary diagnosis and treatment, but also to the promotion of health and the prevention of the main diseases of all citizens without distinction as to race or social class,’ the doctor in Gastroenterology stressed.

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