Cuban doctors arrive in Portugal
Last week, forty Cuban doctors who were hired by the Portuguese
Government to reinforce medical man-power in this country. Arriving from
Latin America, at the end of this month, they will be distributed
amongst health centres in the Alentejo, Ribatejo and the Algarve.
However, despite being acquired by the Ministry for Health, the
Portuguese doctors' union has warned the Government that the foreign
medics may lack requisite qualifications to practice in this country.
At present the bureaucratic conversion of qualifications is taking place
so the foreign professionals can enroll in Portugal's 'Ordem do Médicos'
(Doctor's Register). The Cubans are legalizing their status so a degree
can be obtained from a Portuguese University.
It is thought the Cuban doctors will have contracts that are renewable
on a yearly basis.
A source from the Ministry for Health confirmed negotiations were
ongoing to recruit doctors from various Latin American countries, but no
protocol has been established as yet.
However, the Doctor's Register has said it does not believe this is the
most appropriate solution.
Others have claimed the doctors' arrival could not have come at a better
time given the amount of strain the A H1N1 flu will have on national
The first group of doctors is believed to be destined for the Alentejo's
coastal region and Beja, where medical back-up is most needed.
One of the most serious scenarios is that of Odemira, where the
situation worsens with the arrival of summer and the local populations
in Vila Nova de Milfontes, Zambujeira and Almograve multiply five-fold.
Over recent years Cuba has become one of the world's largest 'exporters'
of doctors. In July the Angolan government recruited 239 doctors from
Cuban doctors arrive in Portugal (22 August 2009)