Friday, 14 December 2018 11:01

Brazilian Municipalities Still without Doctors

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About 3,000 candidates who signed up for the Mais Medicos (More Doctors) program in Brazil have not yet showed up for work in municipalities in which they were assigned to, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper says on Friday.


Brasilia.- The tripartite commission, made up of representatives from the municipalities, the states and the Union, that work with the program told journalist Mônica Bergamo who writes for GGN newspaper.

The deadline for doctors to start working ends on Friday. A total of 8,517 posts were opened after Cuban professionals withdrew from that initiative after President-elect Jair Bolsonaro questioned their professionalism and made derogatory statements against them.

According to Bergamo, the high number of people that initially enrolled to replace the Cuban doctors excited Bolsonaro, who 'posted on Twitter that almost 100 percent of the posts (from Cuban doctors) were already filled by Brazilian physicians.'

However, only '60 percent of them have so far been covered', the journalist wrote.

A second issue lies on the fact that a good part of the more than 4,000 Brazilian doctors who already showed up at work will leave the posts as of March, when the country's medical residences begin, Bergamo explains.

GGN newspaper states that the professionals report difficulties and errors in the Program Management System website of the Ministry of Health that are preventing registration in More Doctors program.


Brazilian senator Vanesa Grazziotin has described as a mistake the substitution of Cuban professionals for nationals her government is attempting today in the More Doctors program, created in 2013 during the administration of Dilma Rousseff.

"It is not possible to say that this replacement is a success and that almost all the vacancies were filled, as the press reports and the transitional government believes," said the Communist Party MP during her speech at the Federal Senate.

According to Grazziotin, the contents of various newspapers indicate that 97 percent of the vacancies opened by convocation, in order to select doctors for the program, have already been fulfilled, but it is really a lie because recruitment still takes place.

She denounced the serious situation of the remote municipalities and in the indigenous communities, which attracts few candidates and whose population is without medical attention after the withdrawal of the Cubans from the program.

The senator noted that in the Amazon, of the more than 320 vacancies left by foreigners, only 228 interested professionals registered and only 22 showed up so far.

Of the seven Indigenous Sanitary Districts of the state, only the largest, that of Manaus, had one interested, she warned.

She pointed out that, of the doctors who showed up, most of them come from the Unified Health System (SUS) itself and they are looking for bigger salaries, and they leave the family health teams of the municipalities of the periphery to work in other cities, and thus disorganize the entire healthcare system.

On November 14, Cuba revalidated the solidarity and humanist vocation shown by its health professionals in dozens of countries, announcing the withdrawal from the More Doctors program in Brazil, in light of the conditions of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro.

"The peoples of Our America and the rest of the world know that they will always be able to count on the humanistic and solidary vocation of our professionals," the Ministry of Public Health of the island said in a statement.

As part of the More Doctors program, the health ministry specifies, in the last five years nearly 20,000 Cuban professionals took care of 113,359,000 patients in some 3,600 municipalities. (PL)

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