Over 2,000 Cuban doctors are setting up practice in Venezuela after being kicked out of Brazil by President Jair Bolsonaro, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said this weekend.
Two-thousand-five-hundred cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and general doctors arrived in the South American country Friday to bulk up the medical staff at the Barrio Adentro Mission, a social initiative founded by ex-president Hugo Chavez to provide free, public medical care.
In November, thousands of doctors were forced to leave the Mais Medicos (More Doctors) cooperation program in Brazil after far-right president Bolsonaro criticized the program, saying it was torture for Cuban mothers who were "not allowed" to go with their children and questioning diplomatic ties with the island.
In the last five years, about 20,000 Cuban physicians have participated in the ‘More Doctors Program,’ assisting thousands of Brazilians in rural communities to receive primary health care.
Some 1,462 vacancies, roughly 17.2 percent of those positions left by the Cuban doctors, have not yet been filled, the Brazilian Health Minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, said Friday.
Several states and municipalities inside Brazil pressured the National Government to provide a solution because the Cuban doctors are usually the only medical option in several rural areas of the country.