On Purpose of Cuba and international cooperation (II)


By José Luis Rodríguez

The Venezuela initiative to consider as tradable goods which are included in the Cuban collaboration, not only represented a remarkable show of solidarity with the efforts had made by the Cuban Government in helping other people, but that allowed that the island began to raise revenue that took the balance of the total trade balance in deficit to surplus there after which enabled to make sustainable that policy and expand it.

Other nations such as Ecuador and South Africa would also proceed to compensate the medical services provided by Cuba on the basis of their economic possibilities.

The most recent case that took this modality has been Brazil, where the Government of Dilma Rouseff decided to undertake a year ago the operation “More doctors”, with a view to expand services to the most disadvantaged regions in the North and North-East of the territory, taking into account that the density of physicians per capita was only 1.8 per 1000.

15 460 health professionals, of whom were hired originally 3 891 Brazilian physicians, which finally fell to 938, demonstrating the need to go to others abroad, mainly from Uruguay, Argentina, Spain, Portugal and Cuba were needed for this operation.

So far, Cuba has provided this operation 11 456 physicians through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which cover more than two thousand people in 26 Brazilian States, thus providing assistance that covers 74.1% of the lawsuit filed with its services.

As has happened with the presence of Cuban doctors in Venezuela and other Latin American countries, now also unleashed an intense media campaign against the Cuban specialists, who stands accused of displacing their counterparts in those countries. It is thus hide other realities, not by hidden less objective and often also painful.

First, the Cubans go there where there are no medical services. In very poor countries the absence of health personnel is almost absolute, but where there is – as the case of Venezuela or Brazil – many physicians are not hired to work in the public service and much less they go to regions where most they need them. Unfortunately, rather than receive a commensurate income according to their social contribution, the logic of competition in a market economy drives to go there where there is more money and not where most society requires it.

Secondly, if the Governments of the nations who hire doctors from other countries decide to capture personal competing with the highly profitable private medicine, they would have to face unsustainable expenditure for the public budget. Enough to recall that, according to studies carried out in Latin America, the expense of a patient assisted by private medicine in Brazil, based on the health insurance system, amounts as average to 606 dollars per year, while in Venezuela a basic medicine consultation can cost the equivalent of $127.

Certainly these are not the bases of calculation of Cuban cooperation programs, which are not governed by the price of the international market for these services, nor for the costs of training of highly qualified personnel.

What is meant to hide is that if today Cuba receives revenues reaching billions of dollars it is not related to prices imposed, but by the presence of 362 64 specialists in 191 countries, many of them free of charge.

Thirdly, the Cuban cooperation with other peoples is not the result of individual efforts, but should be understood as a policy advocated by the Cuban State for more than 50 years, and which relies on the use of resources that enter the country not only for the personal enjoyment of those who create the wealth, but on the needs of the whole society.

This does not exclude that insofar as the Cuban society can better recognize the efforts of its workers does not increase personal incomes of these. The wage increase recently approved this year for medical personnel, together with a greater involvement in income in currencies that generated while they remain on the outside, offers a clear testimony of this policy.

Cuba has developed a partnership with other peoples based on providing services of high quality and low cost, compensating for part of the expenses in the same measure in which revenues do not come into conflict with the principles of the deepest solidarity.

The essential motivation that has led to thousands of our doctors and teachers to work voluntarily away from their family and in very difficult conditions, saving lives or teaching from thousands miles their homeland, is the conviction that there is nothing more important to life and dignity of the human being. The value of these principles does not have a monetary expression.
– See more at: http://www.cubacontemporanea.com/en/news/purpose-cuba-and-international-cooperation-ii#sthash.BWT2B669.dpuf,

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