Tue | Sep 27, 2022

Mexican court injunction against plan to employ Cuban doctors

Published:Friday | May 27, 2022 | 2:29 PM
The Government wants the Cubans to practice in underserved rural communities. But Mexican doctors said they should be hired first, before bringing in foreigners. - Contributed photo.

MEXICO CITY (AP) — A judge in Mexico agreed Thursday to consider a preliminary injunction against plans by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to hire about 500 specialised doctors from Cuba.

According to a copy of the injunction, the government has not proved the doctors have the ability or training needed to practice in Mexico.

The plaintiffs in the case also argued that most of the doctors' pay might go to the Cuban government, not the medical professionals themselves.

The identity of those who filed for the injunction was not released. But several professional and medical groups have criticised the plan, which was announced by the president May 9.

The agreement with the Cuban government was negotiated “without having confirmed the quality of the doctors, and without having validated their education, as required by applicable regulations, and without proving they have knowledge of the illnesses and endemic diseases of the Mexican population,” according to the filing.

“The hiring is illegal, because it favours conditions of modern slavery and even human trafficking,” it continued.

Cuba has sent doctors to many countries.

But in many places where they operate, Cuban doctors receive only a fraction of the salaries paid by the host country, with the lion's share going to the Cuban government.

The injunction process will continue with a detailed hearing on the complaint, to be held in June.

López Obrador wants the Cubans to practice in underserved rural communities.

But Mexican doctors said they should be hired first, before bringing in foreigners.

Some have complained that Mexican doctors are ready, but that bureaucracy with medical certifications has held them up.

López Obrador has a political and sentimental attachment to Cuba, and in 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic, about 500 Cuban doctors who were not specialists were hired to work in Mexico.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.