CARIBBEAN: Cuba imposes travel permit for doctors to limit brain drain

CARIBBEAN: Cuba imposes travel permit for doctors to limit brain drain

doctorJAMAICA OBSERVER – The Cuban government announced Tuesday that it is reimposing a hated travel permit requirement on many doctors, requiring them to get permission to leave the country in an attempt to counter a brain drain that it blames on the United States.

It is the first major reverse in Cuba’s policy of allowing unrestricted travel for its citizens, put in place in 2013 as President Raul Castro allowed new freedoms as part of a broad set of social and economic reforms.

The government announced on the front page of state media that health professionals in specialties that have been drained by large-scale emigration in recent years will now be required to get permission from Health Ministry officials in order to leave the country.

The new policy was announced hours after the end of a meeting Monday between US and Cuban negotiators in Washington to address a crisis in Cuban migration, which has reached its highest levels in at least two decades. Cuba complained that the US said it had no plans to change Cold War-era policies that give automatic legal residency to Cuban immigrants.

Many Cuban doctors cite low pay, poor working conditions and the possibility of well-compensated jobs in other countries as their primary reasons for emigrating. The Cuban government places the blame on the U.S. policy of granting automatic legal residency to Cuban immigrants, with special fast-track benefits for doctors who abandon government medical missions overseas.



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  1. I have been to Cuba and I can confirm that a doctor in Cuba get the evuavalent to US$25.00 per month now how the hell do you expect a doctor to be happy with such pittance. If Cuba wants to reform and get in line with the rest of the world and pay these people for their service, I do not see any difference in policy before and now. "LET THE PEOPLE GO"


    • If you know all that you should also know his pittance stretches far more than what you get here. I will not go into all the services he don't have to pay for while your reality is different.


  2. Why is the us giving these Cuban professionals special treatment? The little I know about the country leads me to think doctors are some of the better paid people in Cuba. All of this proves Castro right when he recently said even now he still didn't trust the Americans. When they have problems with you they will do everything they can to destabilise your country.


  3. well casto if you dont want them to go then give the fellas better benefits for them to stay its like you just want to hold the people by their balls and let them be so damn poor if it is true what they are saying about low pay in jobs and working conditions


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