Letter: Cuban trained doctors respond to “Messengers of Death” label

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Dear Editor,

Us, Cuban trained doctors of the graduating year 2016, would like to have our voices heard, concerning a few matters that have recently been brought to light.

Firstly, we would like to address the matter of us, being degraded by the infamous, Mr. Freddie Kissoon, who has labeled not only us, but ALL CUBAN TRAINED, as “Cuban Messengers of death”. This new title which is now accompanying the already emphasized stigma of us being the “disgrace” of Guyana’s medical society brings a new challenge to heart.

Yes we aren’t perfect, however, no person is. Take into consideration that no one speaks ill of the University of Guyana (UG) trained graduates, whom I’m sure have questionable characters hiding amongst their majority. Trying not to attack anyone, we would like to air our voice saying, that we already have to struggle against a society which has us all black flagged, despite the challenges we all have endured. Try being in our situation; studying in a foreign language, away from friends and family, yet persevering and excelling. We aren’t praised for our hard works in outlying areas with no resources, we aren’t showed any recognition when needed, yet we seemingly pull miracles out of dark realms.

Secondly, upon returning to our homeland, we were forced off our contract, which provided gratuity, and placed on a pension plan, without so much as an option. Having being paid a measly stipend on a monthly basis, last of which was in August 2016, we were promised an allowance on a monthly basis until employment. This would’ve afforded us, a small income allowing us to prepare for our placement and all the gathering of documentations needed to start the process.

The said allowance was on behalf of the Ministry of Presidency, Department of Public Service. However, when we called to query the allowance, we were given the royal run around by the various Ministries instead of assistance. What was supposed to be a straight forward task has become a tedious matter that sees us Cuban trained doctors being denied by each sector. It’s appalling, being pushed through the same ineffective measures as the previous graduated year.

Thirdly, emphasis should be placed on us having to wait until 3 months after employment to be paid. It seems like a good system, which isn’t agreed upon by all, as it leaves us having to work with next to nothing in resources.

In situations where patients request other doctors above us, not being paid and having to depend on parents, during Guyana’s “GUAVA season” is quite heart breaking and breath taking. We are humans too, and amendments should be made to try and sort out these discrepancies.

Some of the problems attributed to us at present, should not only be blamed on us as doctors, but on the health care system, which  if made stronger and with the help of both patients and doctors alike, could provide substantial management and care for all.

Please note that in the face of adversity, it’s then that a person’s mindset separates the sheep from the goat. THROW US TO THE WOLVES AND WE COME OUT LEADING THE PACK.

Yours sincerely,                                                                                                                 Cuban trained doctors and proud

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