No one in Brazil can deny the extraordinary success of the program "More Doctors", launched last June by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in an effort to improve public health in her vast country, where millions are still lacking quality medical attention.
Public opinion polls have overwhelmly confirmed public support of the programme, with over eighty percent of the population hailing the advantages of free medical attention now available to increasing sectors.
Step by step, medical attention is progressively being extended to the remotest areas of that giant South American nation. Such is the case of the State of Cearà, where five hundred and seventy one medical doctors are already attending the needs of the population, and one hundred and seventy two more are on their way there, as requested by the local authorities.
Cuba is supplying most of the doctors incorporated to this programme. The largest of the Caribbean islands has for many years ensured the full medical coverage of its own population and has produced a surplus of professionals that are now available to fill the vacuum in other nations.
To the Brazilian patients, the Cuban doctors are ethical, friendly and knowledgeable. They are full of kindness and understanding for their patients and have swiftly earned their love and respect.
At first, the Brazilian patients were surprised. In the few and rare occasions when they were attended by local physicians, financial retribution was demanded in exchange for medical services.
Now, the humblest sectors of the Brazilian society, those who never enjoyed medical services, are surprised by the friendly, brotherly and free attention they receive from the Cuban doctors.
Close to twelve thousand Cuban professionals are joining the Brazilian free medical health effort in four thousand one hundred and seventy counties of the twenty six Brazilian states, plus the Federal District of Brasilia, the nation`s capital. In addition, thirty two special districts mostly populated by indigenous tribes, will also receive the free services.
The initiative guarantees so far medical attention to twenty three million Brazilian citizens. But the Federal Government of Brazil, in response to popular demand, will raise the number of medical professionals to thirteen thousand by next April, thus raising to forty five million the number of citizens directly benefited by the programme.
Therefore, no matter where you live in Brazil, whether in downtown Rio de Janeiro or in the remotest jungle of the country, all citizens will enjoy first rate medical attention.
The "More doctors" programme has introduced a true revolution in medical attention in Brazil, and in this effort the role of the Cuban doctors is essential.
As declared by President Dilma Rousseff, the Cuban doctors are introducing a profound change in Brazilian society and have altered, in a very positive manner, the relationship between doctors and patients.
A change that has earned the thousands of Cuban doctors in Brazil the profound feelings of gratitude and respect of its population.
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