By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
SIX specialist doctors arrived in The Bahamas from Cuba this week amid concerns about shortages in certain specialist areas, Public Hospitals Authority (PHA) Managing Director Herbert Brown confirmed yesterday.
Bringing in specialist doctors is “nothing new” Mr Brown said, adding that doctors from India, Jamaica, Philippines and other countries have often come to provide medical services.
The Cuban doctors specialise in radiology and they are accompanied by 13 biomedical engineers. More medical professionals from Cuba are expected to come to the country by the end of the month, Mr Brown said.
He was reported this week as saying the PHA would continue to look to fill whatever deficit of personnel exists within the Bahamian health care system and specifically specialists that could not be found in the Bahamas, like radiologists of which there is a global shortage. Mr Brown said they would look outside the Bahamas for medical expertise only if that could not be found in this country or unless there there was a need.
ACN, the Cuban news agency, reported that the group are resuming medical co-operation with the Bahamas after the conclusion of “Operation Miracle” almost a decade ago.
According to the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the physicians will offer their services in different Bahamian public hospitals, mainly in Nassau and Freeport, Grand Bahama.
The Cuban medical staff was welcomed at the Lynden Pindling International Airport on Tuesday by the Cuban ambassador to The Bahamas, Ismara Vargas, as well as other members of the Cuban diplomatic mission and PHA executives. On December 21, 2015, Cuba and The Bahamas signed a health co-operation agreement in Nassau, which has now materialised with the arrival of the first physicians, the agency reported.
Their arrival comes after the PHA signed an agreement worth $7.5m to receive “state of the art” radiology and imaging equipment this week.
Parties to the agreement included International Med-X and Ports International. The equipment includes four digital radiography systems, two radiography/fluoroscopy systems, three mobile X-ray units, one 16 Slice CT scanner, two 64 Slice CT scanners, two MRI scanners and six ultrasound scanners.