New Zealand and Cuba Sign Agreement for Medical Cooperation in Pacific
By Kalyan Kumar @diplomatist10 on February 17 2015 6:09 AM
New Zealand has signed a cooperation arrangement with Cuba to support
Cuban medical assistance in the Pacific islands. The document was signed
on Feb. 13 by Craig Hawke, Acting Chief Executive of the New Zealand
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ambassador of Cuba Maria del Carmen
Herrera Caseiro. The two sides described the agreement as an important
step in the sustained engagement of relations between the two countries.
The Cuban diplomat described the agreement as a milestone in the
improving bilateral ties between the two countries. She mentioned the
reciprocal visits of the two Foreign Ministers and the progress being
made in bilateral cooperation. The official dialogue between New Zealand
and Cuba followed by exchange of views on topics of mutual interest has
been significant developments, the Cuban ambassador noted, according to
Cubaminrex.cu, the website of Cuba’s Foreign Ministry.
“The signing of this arrangement constitutes a concrete and tangible
result of the interest and both parts are strengthening the relations of
cooperation and friendship in a convincing commitment to support
sustainable development in the Pacific region,” said the ambassador, who
reaffirmed the willingness to deepen the cooperation through joint
initiatives and support programs in the Caribbean region.
Hawke, on his part, expressed satisfaction and referred to the
importance of Pacific islands for New Zealand. acknowledging the Cuban
medical collaboration in the region and fame it enjoyed in the field of
healthcare. He welcomed the joint cooperation in the area for the
benefit of Pacific islands.
Cuban Medical Training
Meanwhile, Pacific island Tuvalu’s education department has asked
medical students who had training in Cuba to complete their internship
in Kiribati, reports Radio.co.nz.
According to Atabi Ewekia, the department’s pre-service training
officer, already eight students who had finished their medical program
in Cuba have been asked to start their training with the Princess
Margaret Hospital before travelling to Kiribati.
The Kiribati program is co-facilitated by Australia and Taiwan to fill
up the gaps in the skills of doctors who had foreign medical training.
It is designed to make them more competent and safe doctors.
According to Ewekia, assessments have found that the medical training
received in Cuba needs scaling up to meet the local needs. The main
problem faced by Pacific countries with their Cuban-trained doctors has
been their difficulty in practising medicine in English language after
the training received in Spanish language. Also they lag in practical
and communication skills, reports ABC News.
The problem areas include prescriptions, which are short of detailing on
the frequency of the medicine. On the practical side also, there are
problems like putting on the IV to patients, as if they are very
unfamiliar with that.
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Source: New Zealand and Cuba Sign Agreement for Medical Cooperation in
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