The Ministry of Health in Trinidad and Tobago will this month go on a recruiting drive for 250 specialised doctors from Cuba to service the public health care system.

This was revealed yesterday by Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh at a press conference at his ministry’s Port-of-Spain headquarters.

Deyalsingh went to great lengths to explain that the Regional Health Authorities have been experiencing problems with recruiting local doctors to fill 11 specialty areas for the past year, adding every doctor wants to work in what he called the “Cathedral of Medicine”, either the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, San Fernando General Hospital or Port-of-Spain General Hospital rather than the rural communities.

However, he could not say if this “demand” was as a result of the prestige of working at these facilities.

“I have a need therefore I would go to Cuba. That is why we have to employ foreigners because our locals do not have the skill set or don’t take advantage of the opportunity to work in the public sector for whatever reason,” Deyalsingh said.

He said even primary healthcare doctors have been resisting work in rural areas, which led to the ministry engaging the United Nations to get UN doctors to come here to work.

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