López Obrador and Díaz-Canel in Havana on Sunday. López Obrador and Díaz-Canel in Havana on Sunday.

Medical community slams AMLO for hiring Cuban doctors, says there is no shortage

The move called an offense against Mexican health professionals

Mexico’s medical community has rejected the federal government’s plan to hire some 500 Cuban doctors, asserting that it is disrespectful of Mexican doctors, of whom there are enough to meet the demand for health care services.

A day after meeting with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel in Havana, President López Obrador announced Monday that more than 500 Cuban doctors would come to work in Mexico “because we do not have the doctors we need.”

The heads of 30 medical colleges, associations and federations disagreed, expressing their “profound disapproval” of the government’s plan, saying that it was justified by a supposed rather than real shortage of doctors.

The hiring of foreign doctors is a “serious offense” against Mexican health professionals, they said in a statement.

“In our country there are doctors with abilities endorsed by the universities of the Mexican republic” and they are equipped with “full knowledge of the needs and idiosyncrasies of our population.”

The medical professionals questioned why the government needs to hire foreign doctors when some Mexican doctors are unemployed or only have casual employment for which they earn low salaries or have to work in “areas of extreme insecurity.”

Mexican doctors have been “relegated” by the government in favor of foreign doctors, they suggested.

The government has turned its back on “the academic capacity of our universities,” added the medical community leaders, among whom were the presidents of the Mexican College of Internal Medicine, the Mexican Society of Dermatology and the Mexican College and Society of Pediatric Surgery.

The statement also noted that Mexican health care professionals have worked with the government to treat COVID-19 patients, “even risking our lives and those of our families” and “purchasing personal protective equipment ourselves in many cases.”

They called the hiring of foreign doctors an insult to the Mexican medical community.

They also raised concerns about the abilities of foreign doctors entering the country to work and said the government has not specified what roles the Cubans will fill.

“They don’t have the requirements established by the current laws and lack the endorsement of the professional colleges,” they added.

“Their intervention doesn’t represent a benefit for the care of our population and … [constitutes] a serious lack of equity for the doctors of our country.”

With reports from El Universal 

Reader forum

The forum is available to logged-in subscribers only.