I’ll get to the Cuban doctors but I was visiting the National Hospital during the week and was gobsmacked to find that the huge number of IDPs (internally displaced persons) have disappeared. I know this was causing a major problem. Imagine running a hospital with many of the bits of green space between buildings and pathways filled in with people living in tents. It had been like that for about 2 years.
Dili National Hospital is a sprawling campus of ground level buildings in various states of repair and renovation. New parts have been built in the last year or so and they look quite reasonable and even more so without the mini-tent city to navigate around.
The removal of the IDPs must have happened within the last 2 weeks. There will be fewer chickens wandering the grounds and one suspects a vast improvement in general sanitation around the place.
I understand that the hospital system relies quite heavily on the input of Cuban doctors. There was an interesting documentary on TV a few weeks back which helped fill in a few information gaps for me on the Cuban health education system. Cuban doctors work for very little money and a lot of them are sent around the world.
There are over 250 Cuban doctors here in TL, practicing in hospitals all over the country. Their salaries and flights out here are paid by the Cuban government but accommodation and local transport is provided by the TL government. Some say the whole health system depends on the Cubans to keep it running at all.