Feature Article of Sunday, 5 May 2013
Columnist: Tawiah, Francis
Why The Unqualified Cuban Doctors Will Kill The Ghanaian People
Once renowned, Cuban Doctors fail their medical Exams
Dr. Nancy Magarita Gonzalez Rodriguez goes over an x-ray with her
students at the Latin American School of Medical Sciences in Havana,
Cuba. Students who graduate from the Caribbean and try to practise in
Brazil have overwhelmingly failed a medical exam there, according to
Brazil’s Ministry of Education.
Many people still believe that Cuban health care is among the most
efficient in the world, as it is often advertised by the regime, but the
same doctors who support the supposed renowned health care system on the
Caribbean island, however, are struggling to re-validate their diploma
to practise legally in Brazil.
At the most recent re-validation test, which includes proficiency in
Portuguese, their medical knowledge and clinical practises, none of the
doctors who graduated from Cuba were approved. From 2005 to the present
day the most recent exam administered more than 300 Cuban doctors have
applied, but only 25 doctors were authorised officially to work in
Brazil, according to the Ministry of Education.
Their results, in fact, ARE AMONG THE WORST of the average of 600
professionals, ranging in homelands from Argentina, Bolivia, the United
States and European counties who go through the process.
The Brazilian Medical Association attributes the apparent failure of so
many doctors in the test to the lack of quality of universities in
countries like Cuba and Bolivia. According to the association, the
teaching of medicine in these places are at the level of a nursing major
In the United States, the situation is similar. According to the
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, more than 75 percent of
those with Cuban medical degrees fail in the exam of the Educational
Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates for licensing in the U.S.
Most of them also fail to receive certification as “physician assistants”.
For Humberto Fontova, a Cuban refugee and political commentator in the
U.S., the results are not a surprise. “The Cuban health students don’t
learn what most medical students in most countries learn in most medical
schools,” Fontova said.
Since former president, LuizInácio Lula Silva, took office in 2003 the
government tried to facilitate the use of the work from Cuban doctors in
Brazil. A proposal of automatic authorisation for all doctors from the
island to work in Brazil was approved in the House of Representatives,
but later reproved by the Senate.
Despite that, many Cuban doctors are being encouraged by both
governments to come to Brazil’s poorest areas. One of the reasons is the
Brazilian government’s program for “The Health of the Family,” which is
focused on preventive care a speciality of the Cuban health system.
*** Meanwhile, Governor Ricardo MontinhoParaíba, a northern state and
one of the poorest in the nation, went to Cuba in September to hire
doctors. But according to Paraíba Council of Physicians, just one Cuban
was approved to be a doctor in the state. Montinho later gave up on the
idea. “I just wanted to improve the services of my state,” said Montinho.
*** In the very distant centre-western state of Tocantins more than 500
Cuban doctors were hired illegally to work for “The Health of the
Family.” A state court decided to ban the work of these professionals.
The medical associations in Brazil deny that doctors don’t want to work
in poor and distant areas. They also say that there is no way to adopt a
different procedure and doctors working illegally would be prosecuted.
“We just need a good career plan for the doctors to go into the
interior. We can’t open exceptions for specific countries and have to
ask for a test like other countries do with us. Argentina and U.S. have
good universities and their students are approved here,” said Dr.
Fernando Matos, president of Rio Grande do Sul’s Council of Physicians,
who worries about the work of Uruguayans doctors in his state border.
*** The test, however, has been criticised by Brazilians who study in
other countries. At a private institution, they pay over $1,500 a month
for tuition, while in Cuba it’s no more than $200. In Cuba, moreover,
applicants just need approval from the Workers Party, the Brazilian
Communist Party or other institutions aligned with Castro’s regime. “The
test is really to reprove everybody”, has said AfonsoMagalhães,
president of the Association of Brazilian Students of Medicine in Cuba.
Ghanaian people must be very careful about those bogus Cuban quark
Doctors in Ghana. Most of them are not really qualified as Doctors.
FRANCIS TAWIAH (Duisburg – Germany)