Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Cuban doctors | medical slavery | Sierra Leone | health workers

Cuban Doctors Said to Be in 'Medical Slavery'

Image: Cuban Doctors Said to Be in 'Medical Slavery'
A group of Cuban doctors sent to Liberia to fight Ebola fever pose in Havana before their departure for the West African country. (Kyodo/Landov)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 02:46 PM

Cuba makes nearly $8 million annually on the labor of its doctors, who earn funds from the World Health Organization and other nations for their work providing medical care abroad but are in turn paid a state salary of about $64 a month, Breitbart reports.

While Cuba's export of its health teams has earned praise, Breitbart calls the practice "medical slavery." It cites the writing of Cuban political observer Mary Anastasia O'Grady, who in a column for The Wall Street Journal noted that Cuban doctors have been forced to migrate to Sierra Leone and Guinea to work, which she described as a type of human trafficking. If they refuse, their families are threatened as their precious state jobs are cut off and their children are denied admission to the nation's few state-run universities, she alleges.

Grady also noted that about 3,100 Cubans have sought refuge in the U.S. over the last two years using a special travel visa set aside for doctors.

Breitbart noted the praise Cuban medical workers had received for their work abroad by several U.S. media outlets, which have lauded Cuba's response to such world crises as the Ebola outbreak in West Africa — even as many aid workers sent abroad were told they could not return home if they contracted the disease.

The New York Times, in a staff editorial, described Cuba's Ebola response as "impressive."

"Cuba has a long tradition of dispatching doctors and nurses to disaster areas abroad," wrote the Times, urging the Obama administration to coordinate its response with the island nation and to offer medical care to those who might become infected.

The Times, however, did not mention the compensation inequity and government power that forces Cuba's medical teams to hire out for paid work in places like Haiti and other global hotspots where they put their lives at risk.

Despite the government's abuse, the doctors doing heroic work should be praised, Breitbart noted.

"Even if under the threat of force, the work that Cuban doctors themselves may undertake on these internationalist missions is noteworthy, particularly when so few in the affected nations are willing to do it," noted Breitbart's Frances Martel in a story published Wednesday.

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Cuba makes nearly $8 million annually on the labor of its doctors, who earn funds from the World Health Organization and other nations for their work providing medical care abroad but are in turn paid a state salary of about $64 a month, Breitbart reports.
Cuban doctors, medical slavery, Sierra Leone, health workers
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2014-46-12
Wednesday, 12 Nov 2014 02:46 PM
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