Cuban doctor found dead in hotel

Comment on this story
IOL pic feb13 crime scene tape blue yellow . .

Brasilia - A Cuban doctor who worked in a Brazilian government programme that hired thousands of foreign physicians committed suicide at a hotel in the country's capital, the Health Ministry said on Monday.

The 52-year-old male doctor was found dead in a hotel room in what the local police said was a suicide, a ministry spokesman said. The ministry did not release the name of the doctor or more details about the death.

He was one of more than 7 000 Cubans who are in Brazil as part of a programme that hires foreign doctors to tend the sick in slums and remote rural locations where there are no Brazilian physicians.

Since its start last year the “More Doctors” programme has been roiled with controversy, as some Brazilian physicians tried to bar the entry of Cuban doctors who they said threaten to undermine the country's medical standards.

The defection of a Cuban doctor over low pay in February also raised complaints by some opposition politicians who said the physicians were being exploited.

Under an agreement signed with Cuba through the Pan-American Health Organisation, or PAHO, the Cubans get only one-fifth of the 10 000 reais ($4 100) a month that Brazil pays each physician in the programme. The rest goes to the Cuban state.

Still, most Brazilians living in poor slums that for years lacked the most basic health care have welcomed the Cuban doctors, bolstering the popularity of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, according to past polls.

An official with the Cuban embassy in Brasilia was not immediately available for comment. - Reuters

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines