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Labour market access
On 8 July 2013, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, introduced the Mais Médicos (i.e., more doctors) program through Provisory Measure no. 621/2013 and later Law no. 12.871/2013. Brazil is facing a shortage of doctors in rural areas. The program aims at filling this gap by attracting doctors from various countries such as Argentina, Portugal and Cuba. The government offers a three-year contract which includes a monthly salary of 10.000 reais (US$ 5.000) and an assigned town where the doctors have to practice for the designated period of time. Three quarters of the jobs are located in the North and Northeastern part of Brazil.
Usually, doctors form other countries would have to pass a revalidation exam which less than 10% the applicants pass. The exam not only tests their expertise, it can also serves as a barrier halting an influx of doctors. But as the lack of medical experts is a pressing issue amongst Brazilians, the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, issued a legal statement allowing doctors to practice for a period of three years without revalidating their degrees.
In addition to that, the majority of doctors come from Cuba, a country known for its proficiency in medical services. Brazil and Cuba have singed a bilateral agreement through the Pan American Health Organization on 6 May 2013 which attempts to hire 6.000 doctors from Cuba. In contrast to other countries, the agreement allows Cuban doctors merely a fraction of the 10.000 reais salary. Instead, the Cuban government cashes in more than three quarters of the salary while the remaining amount allows the doctors to cover their living expenses.
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