"Every day I receive many messages from Calabrian citizens who complain that there are not enough doctors in our hospitals. There are not enough doctors in Italy," Occhiuto said.
On Thursday, Calabria Region president Roberto Occhiuto announced that the Cuban government will send 497 doctors to the region in the coming months to fill the lack of personnel in a health system that has been in a dramatic situation for years.
The agreement signed between Calabria and Cuba on Wednesday provides for the arrival of 497 health workers with different medical specialties. The first ten doctors will arrive at the beginning of September and then the others will gradually arrive.
Through a video posted on social networks, Occhiuto explained that the Calabrian government published advertisements for several months requesting doctors to work for an indefinite period of time.
Since the positions were not filled, his administration sought to reach an agreement with the Cuban authorities to increase the supply of medical personnel. This was one of his promises when he took office in 2021.
The Cuban health cooperation has an internationally recognized history. When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, for example, the Cuban revolution sent dozens of doctors to Italy to help treat patients at a time when the number of cases was increasing exponentially.
The shortage of doctors and health workers is a widespread problem in Italy and other European countries, most of which have an aging population. Since 2010, Calabria's health system has been in a dramatic situation as a result of debts accumulated over the years.
"Every day I receive many messages from Calabrian citizens who complain that there are not enough doctors in our hospitals. There are not enough doctors in Italy. The limited number of admissions to the Faculty of Medicine has prevented our country from having the number of doctors needed. All the regions are trying their best to hire doctors and they are failing," Occhiuto pointed out.