Cuba's internationalism: 11,000 doctors graduate; 5315 Cuban and 5694 from 59 other countries

By José A. de la Osa, Havana

July 19, 2012 -- -- This July, 11,000 students are to receive their degrees as doctors of medicine; 5315 Cubans and 5694 students from 59 other countries, the highest total in the history of Cuba and an eloquent example of internationalist solidarity. These young graduates completed their studies free of charge in Medical Science Universities recognised for their high scientific level and social commitment to the poorest in the world.

Countries with the largest number of graduates are Bolivia, with more than 2400; Nicaragua, 429; Peru, 453; Ecuador, 308; Guatemala, 170; and Colombia, 175.

According to information given to Granma by the Advanced Medical Studies Department attached to the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), the total of this year’s graduates amounts to 32,171 health professionals, both Cuban and from other countries, including the careers of medicine, dentistry, psychology, nursing and health technology, which has 21 units.

In addition, Cuban professors are training 29,000-plus students in three careers – medicine, nursing and health technology – in eight countries: Venezuela, Bolivia, Angola, Tanzania, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, the Gambia and Timor Leste (East Timor).

Mariheta Cutiño Rodríguez, national director of MINSAP’s Advanced Medical Studies Department, emphasised the high level of the 43,000-plus professional staff who, within an academic framework, combine educational, investigative and active care, thus giving students comprehensive preparation.

She also highlighted values which distinguish Cuban health professionals, such as humanism, solidarity, professional ethics and internationalism.

Cuba has medical colleges in all of the country’s provinces, with the exception of Mayabeque, Artemisa and the Isle of Youth municipality, which have independent faculties.

From January 1959 to 2010 close to 109,000 doctors have graduated from Cuban universities.

This year’s medical graduations are taking place in all the provinces, beginning July 18 in Guantánamo and Havana and ending July 24 in Ciego de Avila and Artemisa.