Brazilian Medicine Council against Cuban privileges
Monday, February 14, 2005
The Brazilian Regional Council of Medicine has protested against a Ministry of Education decision to accept the diplomas of Cuban medical school graduates without subjecting them to a more rigorous evaluation process.
Under the Brazilian 44045 Edict of July 19, 1958, all students of Medicine, Brazilian or non-Brazilian, who studied in a foreign institution must undergo a strict evaluation before their professional registration is granted. The law aims to ensure that the physicians who graduated at foreign universities are properly prepared for and familiarized with the particular medical conditions of Brazil. Some diseases like malaria and dengue for example are very rare in some countries but are more common in Brazilian territory.
However the Brazilian Ministry of Education (MEC) has come to an agreement with the Cuban government to allow medical students who studied in Cuba to go through a less rigorous examination. Furthermore the MEC wants to exempt the students from the Cuban Escola Latino Americana de Medicina (Latin American Medicine School) or ELAM located in Havana from the examination. Under the agreement, the diplomas of ELAM students would be automatically recognized as valid in Brazil. The Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed the endorsement of this agreement last year during his visit to Cuba.
The Brazilian Regional Council of Medicine from São Paulo is opposed to the idea of accepting the Cuban diplomas and is to dispute the deal in Court. The council says the government decision is unfair and disadvantages Brazilian students. It also says that the decision puts the Brazilian community at risk because of differences between Cuban and Brazilian medical education. Cuban physicians are prepared for Cuban conditions and necessities in health which differ from Brazilian ones. Additionally the council argues that the decision is against the law because the Brazilian 44045 Edict demands that all medical students from foreign schools have to pass a careful examination.
The Cuban First Secretary of Technical and Scientific Collaboration in Health, Filisberto Perez, recognizes that both Brazil and Cuba have different models of apprenticeship in medicine. However he believes that Cuba and Brazil can recognize each other's diplomas without difficulty.
Early this year, a team of Brazilian inspectors visited the leading medical schools in Cuba to evaluate them so the degrees can be formalized.
The MEC's decision has angered some Brazilian students. "Why would I study for two years so I could get admitted to a Brazilian school if it would be easier to "buy" my diploma in Cuba?" asks Artur Oliveira Mendes in a email sent to a academic organization. He added: "...our schools of medicine are demoralized before the president's declaration."
Senator José Agripino Maia (PFL) asked the Minister of Education Tarso Genro to explain before the Senate Education Commission why the students from Cuba are being favoured by the Brazilian government.
- Juliana Borre. "Governo estuda facilitar reconhecimento de diploma de brasileiros que estudaram em Cuba" — , February 11, 2005
- Juliana Borre, Jaime Valderrama. "Brasil estudia reconocimiento de diplomas expedidos en Cuba a brasileños" — , February 11, 2005
- "PFL convocará Genro para explicar diplomas de Cuba" — , February 4, 2005
- Lisandra Paraguassú. "MEC negocia acordo para médicos formados em Cuba" — , February 4, 2005
- Roldão Arruda. "Médico deixa comissão e critica diplomas cubanos" — , February 11, 2005
- David Silberstein(translator). "Brazil is expected to accept diplomas of physicians trained in Cuba" — , April 23, 2004
- "Brasil e Cuba devem acertar validação recíproca de diploma" — , April 19, 2004
- "Estudantes selecionados partem para cursar medicina em Cuba" — , March 4, 2004