Brazil and Cuba have started consultations with Pan American Health Organisation regarding the permit for 6000 Cuban doctors to work in the rural regions of Brazil, following the President's Dilma Rousseff's visit to Havana in January last year.
Antonia Patriota, Brazilian Foreign Minister, says that the Brazilian doctors concentrate mostly in urban areas while desperate shortage in remote locations is felt.
"Cuba is very proficient in the areas of medicine, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology and Brazil is considering receiving around 6,000 Cubans doctors or a little more," said Antonio Patriota.
At the joint press conference with Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban Minister for Foreign Affairs, Patriota also informed reporters that there is no charted plan yet, and that the countries are still in the middle of negotiations.
Cuba has been seeking various advantages using it's medical potential. For instance, Havana has already sent more than 30 thousand health professionals to Venezuela in exchange for cheap oil contracts.
In case of Brazil, Cuban authorities say it is the sixth biggest trade partner and the major food importer to Cuba. In 2012, two countries saw a 6% rise in bilateral trade compared to 2011, reaching a record high 661 million US dollars.
Professional medical associations of Brazil have already expressed doubts about Cuban-trained doctors' expertise, stating that Cuban medical standards are lower and in some cases are equivalent only to a nursing level in Brazil.
Along with medicine contract, two countries are also negotiating several infrastructure projects “such as the Mariel port, and also the refurbishment of the airports in Havana and Santiago, which will also be financed by Brazil,” Mr Patriota added.
According to his words, Brazil government is considering investing into modernization of five Cuban airports, whereas Odebrecht, Brazilian construction giant has already started building a cargo terminal at the port of Mariel.
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