The President of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, at the launch of 'Mais Médicos' in Brasilia.

March 20, 2023. Photo: Evaristo Sa / AFP

The government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva relaunched this Monday "Mais Médicos" (More Doctors), a program created in the administration of Dilma Rousseff to alleviate the lack of health professionals in poor and isolated areas, and which was neglected by the far-right ex-president Jair Bolsonaro.

In a ceremony at the presidential Planalto Palace in Brasilia, President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced additional resources for this program, which he said had been "extraordinarily successful" in the past, because it was essential for favela residents to , from the remote Amazonian municipalities or the small and medium-sized cities in the interior of the South American giant could be treated with dignity by public health.

Officially, it will be renamed “More Doctors for Brazil”, it will cover 96 million Brazilians (almost half the population) and will more than double the number of professionals, from 13,000 to 28,000.


it has 18,000 places, but 5,000 are vacant, many professionals have no interest in their remote destinations.

The doctors who register will sign for 4 years, renewable for an equal period, and will receive a series of benefits with which the government intends to encourage their permanence for long periods, such as substantial improvements in their economic conditions after the first few years.

The program will cost the state coffers this year 712 million reais (about 135 million dollars).

Bolsonaro against Cuba

Photo: Araquém Alcântara.

“Mais Médicos” was the subject of much criticism from the Brazilian right, especially from Bolsonaro and his allies, because thanks to a partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) it included thousands of foreign doctors, many of them from Cuba.

On several occasions, the former president, a declared enemy of the Latin American leftist governments,

questioned the professionalism of the doctors on the Caribbean island during his tenure and stated that the program served to finance the communist government, which, according to him, kept a large part of it. of the expected salary for doctors.

Before assuming power in January 2019, but already as president-elect, Bolsonaro announced that he would impose conditions if the Cuban doctors wanted to continue in Brazil, which prompted the island's government to announce the withdrawal of the program and the withdrawal of 11,000 health professionals who were then working in Brazil.

“They sold a negative image”

Photo: Abel Rojas Barallobre/ Juventud Rebelde.

“They tried to put an end to 'Mais Médicos,' they sold a negative image in a pejorative way and they didn't even apologize to the Cuban doctors who left this country,” Lula declared.

The president assured that the priority of this program will be the doctors trained in Brazil, but that if necessary foreigners will be hired.

“We want all the doctors who register to be duly trained Brazilians.

If not, we will give opportunity to Brazilians trained abroad or to foreigners working in Brazil.

If there is still none, we will call foreign doctors to take on this task, ”he assured.

"What matters is not knowing the nationality of the doctor, but that of the patient, who is a Brazilian in need of care," he added.

(With information from RT in Spanish)

See also:

Cuban doctor on More Doctors: We went to Brazil to spread love to its people