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New Health Minister says Cuban doctors were an agreement between Cuba and the Workers’ Party

Deputy Luiz Henrique Mandetta spoke to the press after announcing that he will lead the briefcase. He called the agreement with the Cubans as an improvisation

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Mandetta gave the statement shortly after being announced by Bolsonaro to occupy the briefcase. He spoke to reporters at the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center in Brasilia, where the government’s transition cabinet is operating.

The Cuban government last week announced the withdrawal of its professionals from the “Mais Medicos” (More Doctors) program. In a statement, Cuba cited “direct, derogatory and threatening references ” made by President-elect Jair Bolsonaro to the presence of Cuban doctors in Brazil.

“This was one of the risks of making a covenant and outsourcing such an essential workforce. The criteria, at the time, seem to me to be much more an agreement between Cuba and the Workers’ Party, and not between Cuba and Brazil, because there was a bilateral agreement, but a unilateral rupture, “said the new minister.

Cuba began sending doctors to the program in 2013 when the then-President Dilma Rousseff government created the Más Doctors. The agreement for the employment of Cuban professionals was brokered by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). Under the agreement, the Cuban government received the payment, kept an amount and passed the rest to the doctors. Mandetta called the measure “improvisation.”

“It was a risk that we were already warning of at the beginning, we need policies that are sustainable, health improvisations usually end badly and this was not different from the others,” the new minister added.