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Government ends agreement with Cuba for medical specialists

The government announced Tuesday it is ending a bilateral health cooperation agreement with Cuba. The agreement, in effect for a decade, has brought hundreds of medical specialists to Ecuador to work in medically under-served communities.

Hundreds of Cuban specialist doctors have worked in Ecuador since 2010.

The announcement was made by Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo who said the move means “there will be no renewal of agreements or new agreements between Ecuador’s and Cuba’s health ministries.”

According to Romo, Cuban doctors will be replaced by Ecuadorian specialists who will be called on to apply for nearly 400 positions. She said that there are currently enough specialty doctors in Ecuador to cover the need.

Romo said the agreement with Cuba will conclude at the end of December. “For several months, the government has been in the process of replacing the foreign doctors with Ecuadorian doctors and we see this continuing. For this reason, we see no need to continue the agreement.”

The agreement with Cuba was signed during the presidency of Rafael Correa who said that Ecuador needed more doctors, especially specialists, in rural and Amazonian communities. He said that services were needed for low-income citizens.

Earlier this year, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro ended an agreement similar to Ecuador’s for Cuban doctors. Last week, the interim government of Bolivia ordered Cuban doctors in that country to leave.

11 thoughts on “Government ends agreement with Cuba for medical specialists

  1. Quite a few of the Cuban doctors could see this coming. They naturalized so that they will be able to stay. Ecuador is not going to send back it’s own citizens.

  2. Thank God!…….these “specialiats” were not great doctors!…..I had an emergency pacemaker put in by a Cuban doctor at Hospital del Rio. It was not installed properly and had to be replaced. The second pacemaker was put in at the Clinica Latino by wonderful Ecuadorian cardiologist Dr. Diego Serrano Piedra who specializes in pacemakers, malcapasas….I have an ugly scar from the first operation by the Cuban…barely viable incision from Dr. Serrano….

    1. I had a bi ventricular defib. placed in my upper chest. It was done in the USA. Not only do I have an ugly scar, it sticks out of my chest like a pack of cigarettes. There are good and bad doctors all over the world. In fact, by and large Cuban doctors have a very good reputation world wide. I have seen their work in Africa and Colombia. When I moved to Cuenca, my cardio in the USA recommended Dr. Serrano. He is an excellent specialist..

      1. My brother was a Cuban MD., and worked in the USA as a general practice for more than 50 years in Texas, and when he passed away at age of 87 he still worked, he was graduated at the Universidad de la Habana, so there are good and bad doctors

    2. Hello. Ms. Correa, my wife and I are coming to Ecuador to live the second week in December. I am in need of cardiologist to check and monitor my pace maker. Could you please provide me with contact information for Dr. Piedra. Thank you.

  3. Two of the three best doctors I have had, since my arrival in 2015, were Cuban. I don’t think this bodes well at all for Ecuador.

  4. There are lots of Ecuadorian born physicians with post-graduate work done abroad. Now they may have a chance to get a job. The Cubans were brought to help a struggling country (theirs!) with needed money.

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