Photo: Medicine news
President Raul Castro and his Cabinet approved a plan to more than double the pay of Cuba’s medical professionals starting in June, official media said Friday.
Raises for the more than 440,000 doctors, stomatologists and nurses will vary between 60 and 178 percent.
Even so, their salaries will continue to lag far behind what doctors are paid in other countries.
Communist Party daily Granma said the highest salary will be for second-degree specialists who currently earn 627 pesos ($26) a month, and who starting in June will receive 1,600 pesos ($67) a month.
In other cases, such as infirmary personnel with different levels of specialization, wages will increase between 67 percent and more than 90 percent.
The Council of Ministers decided that Cuban healthcare personnel who provide services abroad “will retain their positions and salaries in Cuba, and will increase their wages in convertible pesos, which Havana maintains at one-to-one parity with the dollar.
The decision to increase salaries in the healthcare sector “will contribute to the stability and quality of medical service for the population, while complying with international commitments,” the official news report said.
The export of services, including medical services, is currently Cuba’s principal source of foreign currency.
In 2014, Cuba expects revenues from exports of healthcare services to reach over $8.2 billion, which represents 64 percent of total sales abroad.
In 2010-2013, the island’s healthcare sector was the object of a reorganization that eliminated nearly 110,000 positions, according to data released Friday.