05 November 2008

East Timor Foreign Minister on Claim of ‘malpractice’ against Cuban Doctors

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Division of Public Relations
Press Release 22 October 2008

Statement from H.E. Zacarias Albano da Costa, Minister for Foreign Affairs on:

“Claim of ‘malpractice’ made against Cuban Doctors working in Timor-Leste”

Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, would like to take this opportunity to highlight the dedication and service of Cuban doctors working throughout Timor-Leste. Their valuable contribution is reflected many areas, particularly that of infant child mortality which has decreased markedly since their presence, particularly in the past two years.

Timor-Leste's cooperation with Cuba in the health sector has also provided the opportunity for 696 Timorese students to study Medicine in Cuba and 135 other students to study in Dili with the support of Cuban doctors and other health professionals.

Minister da Costa stated that claims of malpractice, such as the one recently made by the family of a 33- year old deceased woman on the weekend, will be thoroughly investigated by the Ministry of Health. The Cuban Cooperation Directive in Timor-Leste has also offered to contribute with expert assistance.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs also made an appeal for families claiming malpractice not to allow themselves to be exploited by political means or interests, but rather to accompany the investigative process in the search for the truth and await the findings and results of the thorough investigation.

Media contacts : Maria-Gabriela C. Heard Media Advisor Ministry of Foreign Affairs República Democrática de Timor-Leste maria.heard@mne.gov.tl Tel no: Tel. + 670- 730 4231 or
+670- 723 5288

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