It is not exactly what Ramona Rodriguez had expected: In October of last year the Cuban doctor arrived in Brazil, a country with a severe shortage of physicians, to work in the far northeast state of Para, on the border to Suriname and Guyana.
There are very few doctors in this region of Brazil. Statistically, there is less than one physician for every 1,000 inhabitants. By comparison, Germany has a ratio of 1 to 233.
Rodriguez came to Brazil as part of the ‘Mais Medicos’ program (More Doctors); a program introduced by the Brazilian government last year to combat the shortage of trained medical personnel in the more remote regions of the country.
The program offers a salary of 10,000 Brazilian reals ($4,200/3,150 euros) per month and is open to both Brazilian and foreign physicians.