Resolution in Support of the Medical Associations in Latin America and the Caribbean

Adopted by the 58th WMA General Assembly, Copenhagen, Denmark, October 2007
And reaffirmed with minor revision by the 207th WMA Council session, Chicago, United States, October 2017

There are credible reports that arrangements between the Cuban government and certain Latin American and Caribbean governments to supply Cuban health workers as physicians to these countries are bypassing systems, established to protect patients, that have been set up to verify physicians’ credentials and competence.

The World Medical Association (WMA) is significantly concerned that patients are put at risk by unregulated medical practices and recalls its Statement on Ethical Guidelines for the International Migration of Health workers, whereby “Physicians who are working, either permanently or temporarily, in a country other than their home country should be treated fairly in relation to other physicians in that country” (Parag.7) and that bilateral agreements require “due cognizance of international human rights law, so as to effect meaningful co-operation on health care delivery” (parag. 8).

There exist already duly constituted and legally authorized medical associations within this region that are charged with the registration of physicians and which should be consulted by their respective Ministries of Health.

Therefore, the WMA:

  1. Condemns any actions by governments in policies and practices that subvert or bypass the accepted standards of medical credentialing and medical care;
  2. Calls upon the governments in Latin America and the Caribbean to work with the medical associations on all matters related to physician certification and the practice of medicine and to respect the role and rights of these medical associations and the autonomy of the medical profession.
  3. Urges, as a matter of utmost concern, that the governments in Latin America and the Caribbean respect the WMA International Code of Medical Ethics, the Declarations of Madrid on Professionally-led Regulation, and of Seoul on Professional Autonomy and Clinical Independence as well as the Statement on Ethical Guidelines for the International Migration of Health workers that guide the medical practice of physicians all over the world.
Caribbean, Cuba, Latin America, Physician's Certification