The hospital in Baucau has extremely limited quantities of medicine and equipment but it is abundant in human resources. Surprisingly, the medical system here is dominated by a Cuban workforce.
The Cuban government sends throngs of physicians abroad. Many countries, including East Timor, Venezuela, Angola and Mozambique, benefit from their services. The doctors usually spend two years in a given region and are paid a salary slightly higher than they would earn back home. I have worked with many Cuban physicians including an enthusiastic pediatrician, a hard-working dermatologist, a very nice radiologist and multiple skilled surgeons. They all seem to be well trained and dedicated to the advancement of the people of East Timor.
I have spoken with many about the Cuban doctors. Invariably, people believe the medical system here would crumble without Cuba’s help.