Fotografía cedida por la presidencia de México, que muestra al presidente de México, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, mientras ofrece una rueda de prensa matutina el miércoles 12 de agosto de 2020, en el Palacio Nacional de Ciudad de México. Foto: EFE.

Mexico “will not take a step back” in hiring Cuban doctors, says López Obtrador

The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, warned this Wednesday that “he will not take a step back” in the hiring of 500 Cuban doctorsdespite criticism from the opposition and the national medical colleges.

“Why not have the doctors? And let the conservatives, selfish, hypocrites know that we are not going to take a single step back,” the president declared at his morning press conference.

The controversy has grown since the president of Mexico On May 8, during his visit to Havana, he signed a health agreement that includes the hiring of at least 500 general practitioners and various specialties from Cuba to fulfill his objective of guaranteeing universal health.

But members of federations, associations and medical colleges in Mexico questioned this Tuesday on social networks that the president has hired Cubans when there are Mexican specialists without a place.

The president justified this Wednesday that there are vacancies in the Mexican Institute of Social Security and in the Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers (ISSSTE), but that the specialists do not take them because they are in rural and marginalized areas.

“If we are doing what is happening in Cuba, it is because we need the doctors, and we thank the people of Cuba, the Government of Cuba, the Cuban doctors for their solidarity,” he said.

Cuba and Mexico sign cooperation agreements, after meeting of their presidents in Havana

Questioned about the lack of transparency of the hiring, the president indicated that he will publish the agreement and that on Tuesday he will present all the vacancies in the health system that need to be covered, with the promise of immediate hiring for Mexicans.

In the midst of the controversy, he published tweets by columnists critical of the government who accuse him of hiring Cubans in conditions of “slavery” and of infiltrating “communist agents” in Mexico.

“Now we are going to guarantee the right to health and the gentlemen are still offended, after they made, to say the least, the mistake of leaving us without doctors, because we have a deficit of general practitioners and specialists,” the president commented.

The hiring of Cuban doctors, which has previously also sparked controversy in countries like Argentina, occurs in the midst of the rapprochement between the Government of Mexico and that of Cuba.

The president blamed his “adversaries” of the “neoliberal period” for having damaged the public health system, which he intends to federalize and rebuild with a plan announced last week.

«I take this opportunity to say that in this controversy of doctors, first, health should not have borders, it is a human right. Second, we have a commitment, and we are going to fulfill it, to guarantee the right to health, something that our opponents have not done,” he said.

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