Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, The Most Honourable Janet Phillips, and Cuba’s Ambassador to Barbados, Sergio Jorge Pastrana, signing the Health Cooperation Agreement. (S. Forde-Craigg/BGIS)

A Health Cooperation Agreement for additional medical personnel has been signed between Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness and Cuba’s Ministry of Public Health.

As part of its continued cooperation with Cuba in the area of health, Barbados is set to receive 69 Cuban medical professionals and a Head of Brigade, who will complement the staffing needs of the island.  The salaried professionals will help fill the critical shortages in the healthcare system.

Nurses, as well as medical professionals in specialist areas, such as laboratory technologists and doctors trained in intensive care medicine, will be among the medical personnel.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Wellness, The Most Honourable Janet Phillips, signed the agreement on behalf of Barbados, while Ambassador Sergio Jorge Pastrana signed on behalf of the Republic of Cuba.

Following the signing, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Culloden Road, St. Michael, Permanent Secretary Phillips thanked the Cuban Government for its assistance with medical personnel and stated: “The Ministry of Health and Wellness is pleased to once again partner with the Government of Cuba in an opportunity to provide resources for our health care sector.

“During this COVID-19 pandemic, the availability of adequate human resources in the health care sector is of the utmost importance and we in Barbados are very much appreciative of the support that we have gained through this partnership.  We look forward to further collaboration with the Cuban Government in the near future.”

Meanwhile, Ambassador Pastrana noted: “This is a more permanent relationship in terms of health cooperation between both Cuba and Barbados, and essentially is part of the long tradition of cooperation that exists between our two countries, that will be celebrating 50 years of relations later this year.  And it’s a symbol of the continuation of the efforts of cooperation between Caribbean countries that share so much history together.”

Despite its own internal challenges, Cuba has assisted Barbados and other CARICOM Member States to address the initial public health challenges posed by the pandemic, through the despatch of health personnel.

Diplomatic relations between Barbados and the Republic of Cuba were established on December 8, 1972. 

sheena.forde-craigg@barbados.gov.bb

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