Contract between Brazil, Cuban doctors examined by prosecutors

August 29, 2013
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Getting health care to every citizen is complicated, especially for those in the poor and remote areas of a country. However, some areas are answering this challenge by thinking outside the box. Brazil, for example, has partnered with Cuba to bring 4,000 Cuban doctors and other medical personnel to these areas when it became clear that Brazilian doctors only wanted to work in cities and not in the remote areas of the country.

According to a recent article from the Miami Herald, the first 400 professionals under the Mais Medicos (More Doctors) program will begin arriving on Friday and cost the Brazilian government more than $200 million.

However, the move is not official yet as the agreement needs to be reviewed for possible violations of the Brazilian labor laws and regulations.

"After we analyze the documentation, we will take the required steps … because already there are some visible irregularities," José de Lima Ramos Pereira, chief prosecutor in the labor fraud section of the Office of the District Attorney was quoted as saying in Brazilian news media reports.

One issue is that it raises "legal uncertainty" because of the use of the Pan American Health Organization, a Washington-based branch of the World Health Organization, as the go between for financial transactions between the two organizations. Officials will also be checking to ensure Cuban doctors are not paid below the minimum allowed by Brazilian law.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the next several days and weeks as prosecutors comb through the contract.

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