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So, the author thinks that the Cuban government pocketing a 93 percent commission on Cuban doctors’ salaries is scandalous. The solution is simple, the United States could put an end to it by following Cuba's example of free tuition and books for medical students and sending American doctors instead. I commented on the fact that Cuba exports so many surplus doctors on Wellcommons.com on Jul 30, 2013.
And, as a side benefit of the free tuition and books for medical students, the health care available to the citizens of Cuba is better than that available for most Americans, according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Plus, it's free, there is no charge for health care in Cuba.
My comment appeared here:
"Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other."
- Edmund Burke
I think the United States can learn a lot from the examples of other nations, of course not in all respects, but the ethnocentrism of so many Americans makes them think we are the best at everything. That is absolutely not the case.
"The $250-$300 a month that they can make in Brazil is nearly ten times more than the average of $30 a month that they make in Cuba. "
So how exactly does a job opportunity that pays 10 times more than the normal pay equal slave labor?
What this article is all about is a jab at Communism. The Cuban government spent a great deal of money to train the physicians, and the portion of the subsidy for the physicians working in Brazil that is kept by the Cuban government could obviously be considered to be a return on that investment. Is that really any different than what corporations in the United States do?
Well, since $30/month is tiny, even a ten time that amount wage isn't great.
Have you tried to live on $300/month recently?
Nope, never been to Venezuela or Brazil, but minimum wage in Brazil is being raised to about $333 in U.S dollars. Do these doctors also get a housing allowance or other additional subsidies?
I don't know.
So, doctors are getting paid minimum wage then? Not great for a very skilled job, is it?
But they are still making many times more in this program than they would be practicing at home. In Cuba minimum is "225 Cuban pesos ($9) per month; supplemented by the government with free education, subsidized medical care (daily pay is reduced by 40 percent after the third day of a hospital stay), housing, and some subsidized food wiki.
Making more money isn't slavery.
If making a large profit off the labor of others constitutes "slavery," wouldn't that make the CEOs of major American corporations the worst kind of slaveowners?
Or take GTAs at KU for example. They receive about 15% of the tuition money their students pay. Is KU running a "slave system"?
I wonder what the quality of the doctors is like compared to the US. I have always thought that doubling or tripling the class size in medical schools would do a lot toward lowering medical costs, but I'm sure the AMA and MDs in general would oppose it. The doctors first priority is to get rich and stay rich.
The effects of the Cuban (Marti School) health system are substantially more beneficial and cost-effective than the US system. All international assessments agree. They enjoy markedly better outcomes in nearly every category studied. Not a bad deal for the Brazilians and others who participate in the interchanges. Maybe we could talk them into sending some physicians to rural Kansas. We could sure use the upgrade.
"the Cuban government pays its doctors working in Brazil and other countries between $250 and $300 a month"
That's better than the $30.month everyone else makes.
Yes, and $30/month is better than $3/month.
Which is better than nothing.
Still not enough, though - imagine trying to live on $300/month.
The cost of living in Lawrence is substantially different than say, New York or San Francisco. For all we know, the cost of living in Havana is substantially different than in rural parts of Cuba. $300/mo. in Cuba might well, represent a decent living wage while here it would put one far below the poverty level. This really is a case of comparing apples to oranges.
Well, yes, we'd have to know about the cost of living.
But, I'm just pointing out that one can almost always say "This is better than that", but that doesn't mean it's good enough.
There are many Chinese doctors who are doctors in China, but when they come to the United States they don't have a doctors status, because they can't always pronounce words perfectly. I know because I work with them here in San Francisco, and the test that they have to take is very long and complicated.
It would seem to me that the doctors I have worked with pronounce English pretty well, and of course Chinese or another Asian language perfectly.
Shouldn't we use these doctors here in the U.S. instead of their having to work in labs or at menial jobs here?
And I wonder... how much of the American doctors' medical education is paid for by the U.S. government? Shouldn't they give back some of this money to serve in less fortunate areas?
In answer to your question about the portion of American doctor's education that is paid for by the United States government: The answer is virtually none, the only portion that is paid by the government is the amount of a Pell Grant that might be awarded. I addressed the cost of a medical education on this forum on July 16, 2013. This is a link to the article that I commented on: http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/capitol-report/2013/jul/16/what-is-more-unpopular-congress-or-obama/
This is the text of my comment:
One thing that would help a great deal would be for tuition for medical doctors and possibly nurses also to be free, that is, paid for by the government as it is in some other countries. Then, many more people would enter those fields, which would reduce health care costs, the burdensome hours that most physicians face every day could possibly be eliminated, and they would enter the workforce without a burdensome debt. A large part of a doctor's bill is going towards his or her student loans.
"According to the AMA, the average debt facing graduating medical students in 2009 was $156,000."
Clipped from: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/04/medical-school-tuition-debt-doctor.html
The figure of $156,000 was for a general practitioner, and that statistic states only the average debt, it is certainly the case that the families of many of the students made a contribution that is not reflected in that amount. And, those going into specialized fields such as surgery or psychiatry will have much higher student loans to repay. But even a general practitioner can have a horrific sized loan. The following is an example, the writer is not a person that is entering a specialized field. Of course, the cost will vary a great deal, depending upon the schools chosen.
The following is clipped from: http://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2011/04/real-life-medical-school-debt.html
Annual cost of tuition: $48,000
Annual cost of attendance: $67,500 (Includes costs of books/supplies, loan fees, health insurance, licensure fees, living expenses, and transportation allowance)
Total balance after medical school: $270,000
Amount subsidized: $34,000
Amount unsubsidized: $236,000
Interest incurred during 3 years of residency: $100,000
Total balance after residency: $370,000
Monthly payment after residency: $3,370 (180 total payments)
Interest incurred after residency: $237,000
Total repayment: $607,000
But, with the very recent interest rate hike on some student loans, the amount of $607,000 will very likely be much higher.
So obviously, American doctors cannot possibly afford to work in Brazil.
Replace Cuba and Brazil with Oakland and Jets, then replace doctor with player and you have an excellent article about what's wrong with modern sports.
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