Tue, Nov 05, 2013 - Page 12 News List

Cuba’s Tower of Babel gives free medical education

By Rigoberto Diaz  /  AFP, HAVANA

Last year, the school received its first paying students, though they had received grants from their home countries.

“The country’s economic hardship is no secret to anyone, and we need to find new sources of funding,” Soca acknowledged.

One of the solutions being studied is to make students pay for specialized studies.

Cuba is now being forced to boost the number of bilateral agreements with different countries so that they can pay for part of the costs currently assumed by Havana.

Among the experts in training is an Ecuadoran couple — Ingrid Toapanda, 28, and Fernando Cruz, 31.

They are finishing a specialization in clinical genetic medicine, after working with the Cuban mission in Haiti and with handicapped people in Ecuador.

“After so many years living away from family, it’s true that you lose something. But the reward is this unique opportunity Cuba provides to train us and allow us to give back this knowledge to our people,” Toapanda said.

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