Ministry condemns columnist’s attack on Cuba-trained doctors

Claims by Kaieteur News columnist Freddie Kissoon that Cuban-trained Guyanese doctors are “hopelessly incompetent” are reckless and baseless, according to the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH).

Kissoon in his November 18, 2016 column headlined, `Guyanese messengers of death from Cuba have returned’ made several claims about the quality of training received by Guyanese doctors who study in Cuba on scholarship. He further claimed that this substandard training has created doctors who are incompetent.

In a press release yesterday, the MoPH said that it “stands by Guyana’s local and foreign trained doctors whose dedication and commitment have become the backbone of our health system over the past forty years.”

The Minister added that Cuba has been Guyana’s longest and strongest ally in the country’s efforts to train doctors, particularly during the period when it was ostracized by other countries due to ideological differences.

“Our doctors work tirelessly to save lives, treat the sick and counsel patients. This is often done under less than ideal conditions. Some put their own life at risk and have even broken limbs in their efforts to take health services over the most challenging terrains to some of the remotest villages in Guyana. For this, they should be commended and not condemned,” the release stated.

MoPH additionally said that it looks forward to the continued collaboration with Cuba to train scholars while maintaining that “it holds Cuba accountable for ensuring only those students who demonstrate the standard of competencies required, receive a passing grade.”

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