JAMAICA
FACTS
Health workers: 549 (290 for Covid-19)
Cumulative: 2,000 (since 1976)
Mission status: Active
AGREEMENTS
MOST RECENT AGREEMENT
DURATION: 5 years
STARTED: 2015
AGREEMENT SIGNER: Jamaicans Ministry of
Health and Well-being

PREVIOUS AGREEMENTS
Technical Cooperation Agreement (1976)

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Geographic areas: Throughout Jamaica, with a
larger presence in South-East and Western
regions.
Health areas: Intensive and internal medicine,
hematology, general comprehensive medicine,
ophthalmology, nephrology, neonatology, and
stomatology; nurses specializing in intensive
therapy, hemodialysis, emergencies,
neonatology, primary care; pharmacists and
medical technology engineers.
Documented Cases: Yes
Documented Agreements: No
Current facts:
• Active personnel: 549
• Defections: 75 (estimated)
• Did not return to Cuba: 75 (estimated)
• Prohibited from returning: 20 (estimated)
Official statistics available: Yes
Most relevant violations: Workers are not
given a copy of their contract, have their
passport taken, are not allowed to take their
diplomas; strict curfews, workload of over 50
hours per week; are not allowed to live by
themselves – they must live with others to
better control their movements; must pay for
their own return, and lose benefits, if they end
their participation before the mission
concludes; must pay for their own lodging and
food.

SUMMARY

Cuba’s medical collaboration with Jamaica began in 1976, at Jamaica’s request, with 14 Cuban doctors deployed to Savanna hospital in Westmoreland, in the western part of the country. This first contingent’s chief of brigade was Dr. Jaime Davis Wright. The Cuba-Jamaica collaboration was interrupted once, in 1980, with the government of Edward Seaga. The collaboration began anew in 1991 under an agreement with Jamaica’s Ministry of Health. The Cuban-Venezuelan “Operation Miracle” also takes place in Jamaica, where Cuban ophthalmologists have carried out thousands of surgeries. The Cuban doctors provide medical attention in Hospital Montego Bay, Hospital Infantil Bustamante, and Sant Josep Hospital. Prior to 2020, the contingent numbered 259, including 18 ophthalmologists assigned to “Operation Miracle,” As of March 2020, there are 549 medical workers, 290 of which were deployed to combat Covid-19. The duration of each worker’s mission is three years. Each worker earns $650 per month, or 37% of the $1,732 that Jamaica pays Cuba. (The average monthly salary for Jamaicans is $586.)

DOCUMENTED CASES

Anonymous: 2
Documented Violations: No
Not anonymous: None
Public (media): None
Findings from cases:

NAMES OF CHIEFS OF MISSIONS

Dr. José Armando Afronte Villamarin, Chief of Cuban Medical Brigade in
Jamaica

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