Miami Herald: Cuban doctors: A modern-day slavery enterprise | Opinion

Throughout the last few months, there has been increasing evidence of Cuba’s involvement in the Western Hemisphere. Cuba’s core contribution? Its people.

Whether narcotrafficking, supporting foreign military operations, or responding to humanitarian needs with medical doctors, the Cuban regime is profiting billions of dollars via forced human labor. The most egregious example is also the most profitable.

For decades, the Cuban Doctor program has been in place to allegedly help “the poor, downtrodden and those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to medical care” in more than 60 countries around the world. However, they never agreed to sacrifice 90 percent of their wages, proselytize their patients with political propaganda, and adhere to a strict evening curfew.

In Brazil, the program is known as “Mais Médicos.” Instituted in 2013, it was then-President Dilma Rousseff’s response to nationwide unrest over inadequate medical services. The legal rationale was to bring thousands of doctors from other countries to remote, underserved communities in Brazil.

Dr. Rodriguez recounts how she and her medical colleagues were forced to sign contracts giving the Cuban Ministry of Health power of attorney over their actions in Brazil. She was required to use a special Physical Person Card instead of her passport, and she was prohibited from going anywhere without permission of “advisors.”

She also explained that she was ordered to act as a support echelon for paramilitary operations, if and when necessary.

After many months considering the terrifying risks of escape, Dr. Rodriguez decided to take action. She drove 12 hours from a small town in the Amazon to Brasilia in 2014 with Cuban intelligence officials at her heels. After arriving safely at the U.S. Embassy, she applied forasylum under a special parole program that was terminated in 2016 under President Obama.

To put it plainly, Rodriguez was the victim of a human trafficking enterprise. Under the guise of a humanitarian medical mission, sheand many others were used as pawns. In order to evade restrictions in Brazilian law, Rousseff and the Castroregime turned to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which sits under the United Nations umbrella, to organize the arrangement.

Headquartered in Washington,DC, PAHO receives the protection of U.S. law and millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars annually. Working together with Cuba and officials in the Brazilian government, PAHO created the “Mais Médicos” program – a scheme in which Brazil would pay the organization for the Cuban doctors’ service, in exchange for the administration of the program in Brazil.

Using its Washington, D.C. bank account, PAHO would forward more than 85 percent of the amount from the program to Havana, paying the doctors about 10 percent. The remaining five percent was kept in PAHO’s US bank account.

This translates to PAHO pocketing more than $75 million for itself, and Cuba profiting from approximately $1.3 billion going through US bank accounts in the past five years alone.

As history has proven, trafficking its own people is nothing new for the Cuban government. For decades, the Cuban Communist regime has forced thousands of its medical professionals into foreign missions around the world and pocketed between $8 and $11 billion – over half its annual budget.

Medical care is a human issue, not a channel of commerce, as was pointed out by a recent New York Times investigation. It detailed how Cuban doctors working in Venezuela were forced to withhold medical care from poor and gravely ill Venezuelan citizens, in order to coerce support for Dictator Nicolás Maduro’s election.

It is appalling that an organization operating from our nation’s capital could be facilitating slavery and pawning it off as a humanitarian act; we are disheartened with the fact that this same entity is using Lady Justice to cloak itself in the courts with immunity.

As attorneys who trust in the rule of law, we recognize that under the International Organizations Immunities Act(IOIA), organizations like PAHO should have immunity for carrying out their legitimate functions.

Yet, the law does not shield their commercial activities. And, it does not and should not safeguard them from criminal conduct or violations of long-settled rules of international law.

Maria D. Garcia, an attorney, is the president of the Cuban American Bar Association. Hugo Acha is a is a human rights attorney and the lead research advisor for the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba.

https://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article231501818.html

First World Problems

  • Where I work is so close to my home that I can’t hear a complete song while driving there.
  • My boobs are too big to go running.
  • My Fiji water won’t fit in my cup holder.
  • I am too skinny to have my belt end at one belt loop and too fat to have it end at another.
  • My towel is still wet from my first shower today.
  • My smartphone changes “lol” to “LOL” making me sound more amused than I actually am.
  • There’s never been a hurricane with my name.
  • I have excellent health insurance, but I’m too healthy to get any benefit from it.
  • My house is too big for the WIFI to reach my bedroom.
  • One click on my mechanical pencil isn’t enough, and two clicks is too much.
  • Someone paid me by check, so now I have to go to the bank to deposit it.
  • All my friends are studying for finals, so I have no one to drink with.
  • The pizza guy can’t find my house so now I have to stand outside and wave like an idiot.
  • I ate too much food for lunch and now I’m tired.
  • After you buy one iPhone, they make another one a year later.
  • My garbage disposal eats better than 98% of the world.
  • The Wi-Fi on my flight across America is not fast enough to watch YouTube videos.
  • I got a haircut and now everyone is saying, “Hey, did you got a haircut?”
  • I accidentally bent my spoon while scooping out ice cream.
  • The cleaning lady woke me up.
  • There are so many dishes in the sink I can’t fill my Brita pitcher.

Systematic Financial Management LP Sells 11,290 Shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) – Sundance Herald

Systematic Financial Management LP lowered its position in shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) by 20.5% during the first quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The fund owned 43,735 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 11,290 shares during the quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP owned about 0.18% of Independent Bank Co.(MI) worth $940,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of IBCP. Regal Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Independent Bank Co.(MI) in the 4th quarter valued at about $301,000. PL Capital Advisors LLC increased its stake in Independent Bank Co.(MI) by 40.5% in the 4th quarter. PL Capital Advisors LLC now owns 1,627,285 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $34,206,000 after buying an additional 469,000 shares during the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC grew its position in shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) by 47.5% during the 3rd quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC now owns 17,495 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $414,000 after acquiring an additional 5,632 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its position in shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) by 89.6% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,898 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $40,000 after acquiring an additional 897 shares during the period. Finally, Martingale Asset Management L P grew its position in shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. Martingale Asset Management L P now owns 152,144 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $3,199,000 after acquiring an additional 6,375 shares during the period. 80.25% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NASDAQ:IBCP traded down $0.01 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $21.76. The stock had a trading volume of 78,200 shares, compared to its average volume of 110,792. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 0.93 and a quick ratio of 0.91. Independent Bank Co has a one year low of $20.18 and a one year high of $26.65. The company has a market cap of $503.96 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.95, a PEG ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.41.

Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.39 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by ($0.07). The firm had revenue of $40.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $41.70 million. Independent Bank Co.(MI) had a net margin of 21.81% and a return on equity of 12.33%. Equities research analysts expect that Independent Bank Co will post 1.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, May 6th were given a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.31%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 3rd. Independent Bank Co.(MI)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 42.86%.

A number of research firms have recently weighed in on IBCP. BidaskClub raised shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Saturday, February 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. Boenning Scattergood reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) in a research report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $26.00.

Independent Bank Co.(MI) Company Profile

Independent Bank Corporation operates as the holding company for Independent Bank that provides various banking services to individuals and businesses in Michigan. The company offers checking and savings accounts, commercial lending, direct and indirect consumer financing, mortgage lending, and safe deposit box services, as well as automatic teller machines, and Internet and mobile banking services.

Featured Story: Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs)

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP)

Source: Systematic Financial Management LP Sells 11,290 Shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) – Sundance Herald

Three creditors of Chesterfield-based Live Well Financial file petition to force the former mortgage lender into bankruptcy | Local | richmond.com

Three creditors of Live Well Financial are trying to force the former Chesterfield County-based mortgage lender and servicer into involuntary bankruptcy protection.

Flagstar Bank, Mirae Asset Securities Inc. and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services LLC claim that Live Well, which abruptly ceased operations in early May, owes them a total of more than $130 million.

The three filed the involuntary Chapter 7 petition on Monday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Involuntary bankruptcies are primarily filed against businesses when petitioning creditors believe the business can pay but refuses to do so.

A bankruptcy judge will determine the outcome.

“Given the debtor’s recent mass layoff, there are serious questions regarding the management and control of the debtor, its ability to protect and preserve assets (including any potential causes of action that may exist as a result of Live Well’s activities), and liquidate in a manner that will maximize value for its creditors and other stakeholders,” the filing said.

“Consequently, Flagstar and the petitioning creditors have filed the involuntary petitions in order to initiate a court-supervised, orderly liquidation process that will preserve the debtor’s assets, protect value and, ultimately, provide for the distribution of such assets and value to parties entitled to them,” the filing said.

“Based on the foregoing and other information publicly available to Flagstar, the other petitioning creditors and Live Well’s stakeholders, it appears beyond any conceivable or serious dispute that Live Well is insolvent and is not paying its debts as they become due.”

The petitioning creditors said the best way to handle Live Well’s affairs is to go through a coordinated and controlled court-supervised bankruptcy liquidation.

Flagstar Bank, a unit of Michigan-based Flagstar Bancorp Inc., said in the bankruptcy court filings that it is owed about $69 million.

Flagstar filed a lawsuit last month in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan demanding that Michael C. Hild, the CEO of Live Well and guarantor on the loans, repay the bank more than $82 million in principal, interest and expenses. On May 31, Flagstar amended that suit by adding Live Well as a defendant.

A Flagstar spokeswoman declined to comment.

New York-based Mirae Asset said it holds an unsecured deficiency claim of not less than $22 million.

Mirae and Live Well entered into a deal in March 2017 for a master repurchase agreement. The filing shows that a default occurs if Live Well fails to repurchase securities upon the applicable repurchase date or either party admits its inability to perform the obligation under the agreement.

Mirae Asset said it delivered a default notice to Live Well on May 22.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China holds a claim against Live Well for not less than $40 million.

Live Well and New York-based Industrial and Commercial Bank of China signed a master repurchase agreement in April 2016. But Live Well failed to repurchase securities in November 2018 and December 2018 in violation of the agreement, according to the bankruptcy court filing.

It is unclear what developments took place that forced Live Well Financial to shut down on May 3 and lay off its 103 employees, who worked at the company’s corporate offices in the Boulders office complex in Chesterfield.

“Due to sudden and unexpected developments in the markets for certain financial assets the company uses as collateral for certain credit facilities that provide this liquidity, these lenders have reduced significantly the amount of liquidity they make available to the company,” Live Well Financial said in a letter to Virginia employment officials when it said it was ceasing operations.

Hild, who founded the company in April 2005, could not be reached for comment.

Live Well had been a fast-growing mortgage company. It was ranked No. 7 among the top reverse mortgage lenders by volume last year.

***

Meanwhile, Live Well Financial responded last week to a federal lawsuit filed last month by Monica Williams, a former loan account manager who abruptly lost her job. She wants her lost wages and seeks class-action status for the other employees.

The suit alleges the company violated the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, or WARN Act, that requires companies with a large number of employees who are being laid off as part of a mass layoff or plant closing to provide 60 days’ notice or to pay them their wages and benefits for the 60 days.

Stephen B. Brauerman, a lawyer in Delaware who is representing Live Well Financial, said in a court filing that the company “at all times relevant acted in good faith and according to its commercially reasonable business judgment .”

He said the federal WARN Act bars Williams from filing the suit because of “the unforeseeable business circumstances exception to the 60-day notice requirement.”

“Live Well Financial’s defenses will fail unless it produces evidence to buttress its explanations for shutting down. We have not seen such evidence,” said Jack A. Raisner, a lawyer with the New York-based Outten & Golden LLP law firm who filed the suit with Christopher D. Loizides with Loizides firm in Wilmington, Del.

Source: Three creditors of Chesterfield-based Live Well Financial file petition to force the former mortgage lender into bankruptcy | Local | richmond.com

Forget Living In The Moment. Jeff Bezos Organizes His Time So That He Lives 2 To 3 Years Out | Inc.com

When you wake up, what do you think about? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you might start mentally running through your to-do list.

Settle payroll. Follow up with Customer A. Send an invoice to Company B.

Jeff Bezos also thinks about what he wants to do, but the difference is, he’s two to three years ahead. Earlier this year, Jeff Bezos gave a talk at the Yale Club in New York. In this talk, he mentioned that he organizes his personal time so that he lives about two to three years out.

Here’s how he puts it:

“We’ll announce our Amazon quarterly results, and [people will say], ‘Great quarter, congratulations!’ And then I say, ‘Thank you.’ But what I really think about is [how] that quarter was kind of baked and done two or three years ago, and right now the senior executives at Amazon are working on a quarter that’s going to happen in 2021, 2022.”

Tony Robbins, whom I’m a huge fan of, gives similar advice. According to Tony, you need to always be working on two businesses: the one you’re currently in and the one you’re becoming. If you only work on today’s business (like many entrepreneurs make the mistake of doing), your business will never grow and evolve to your “future” business.

Struggling to fight fires everyday, and don’t know how to become more forward-looking? Here are two tips that I personally use to be more forward-looking like Robbins and Bezos.​

Share your vision with your team and set KPIs.

The saying “You’re only as strong as your weakest link” is a bit of a cliche, but it’s also true. If you want to achieve great things two to three years down the road, then you need to have your entire team on board, and invested in what you’re doing.

Bearing this in mind, make sure you share your vision with your team, and set appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs). Sharing your vision helps motivate your employees, and setting KPIs gives them structure, and allows them to hit your expectations.

Setting KPIs for your team.

When you’re setting KPIs for your team, make sure these are specific, realistic, and measurable. For example, instead of saying Employee A’s KPI is to generate more leads, narrow it down and say that their KPI is to generate 15 percent more leads via online strategies by the end of the year.

On top of that, make sure the KPIs are realistic. If the best your sales team has ever achieved is a 20 percent increase in sales, year-on-year, and you’re asking them to hit 50 percent this year, how do you think they’ll respond? They might either react in frustration, or disengage and give up completely.

Moving on, it’s important that you’re able to track your KPIs — that’s where your customer relationship marketing (CRM) and other technology come into place. If you don’t have the proper tracking in place, and you’re unable to attribute your leads to specific sources, then you won’t be able to follow up and determine whether your employees have hit their KPI.

Pro-tip: To incentivize your team to hit their KPIs, come up with fun bonuses or perks that they can “unlock” with their KPIs. I know that many companies like to reward their sales team with overseas trips or cruises, but there’s no hard and fast rule here.

Survey your team and figure out what it is that they really want; flexible working arrangements? More snacks and beverage options in the pantry? A foosball table that they can use on their breaks? Then commit to providing them with this incentive, when the entire team hits their KPIs together.

Review your plan regularly to make sure you’re on track

As an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get distracted by the 101 things that crop up during your workday. That said, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize, and make sure that you’re steadily progressing towards your goal.

To do this, set up regular “review sessions” to look at how far you’ve come, and how long you’ve got to go. If certain strategies aren’t working, go ahead and fine-tune them, or implement new strategies that might be more effective. It’s perfectly fine to pivot; as an entrepreneur, you know that it’s impossible to get things right 100 percent of the time. The most important thing is to keep pursuing your goal, and do things today that will get you where you want to be two to three years down the road.

https://www.inc.com/tommy-mello/forget-living-in-moment-jeff-bezos-organizes-his-time-so-that-he-lives-2-to-3-years-out.html

Ajo LP Trims Position in Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) – Rockland Register

Ajo LP Trims Position in Independent

Ajo LP lowered its holdings in Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) by 55.8% in the 1st quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 70,573 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 89,175 shares during the quarter. Ajo LP owned about 0.30% of Independent Bank Co.(MI) worth $1,517,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the stock. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its holdings in Independent Bank Co.(MI) by 1,738.2% during the 4th quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,636 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $35,000 after acquiring an additional 1,547 shares during the last quarter. Oppenheimer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in Independent Bank Co.(MI) during the 4th quarter worth $37,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its holdings in Independent Bank Co.(MI) by 89.6% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,898 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $40,000 after acquiring an additional 897 shares during the last quarter. Quantamental Technologies LLC purchased a new position in Independent Bank Co.(MI) during the 4th quarter worth $41,000. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new position in Independent Bank Co.(MI) during the 4th quarter worth $51,000. 80.25% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of NASDAQ:IBCP opened at $21.79 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 0.93, a quick ratio of 0.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19. The stock has a market capitalization of $503.96 million, a P/E ratio of 12.97, a P/E/G ratio of 1.43 and a beta of 0.41. Independent Bank Co has a fifty-two week low of $20.18 and a fifty-two week high of $26.75.

Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, April 22nd. The financial services provider reported $0.39 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by ($0.07). The company had revenue of $40.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $41.70 million. Independent Bank Co.(MI) had a return on equity of 12.33% and a net margin of 21.81%. On average, analysts expect that Independent Bank Co will post 1.87 EPS for the current year.The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Investors of record on Monday, May 6th were issued a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.30%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, May 3rd. Independent Bank Co.(MI)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 42.86%.

A number of research firms have issued reports on IBCP. BidaskClub raised shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, February 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 20th. Boenning Scattergood reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) in a report on Thursday, May 2nd. Finally, Zacks Investment Researchdowngraded shares of Independent Bank Co.(MI) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Thursday, April 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $26.00.

Independent Bank Co.(MI) Profile

Independent Bank Corporation operates as the holding company for Independent Bank that provides various banking services to individuals and businesses in Michigan. The company offers checking and savings accounts, commercial lending, direct and indirect consumer financing, mortgage lending, and safe deposit box services, as well as automatic teller machines, and Internet and mobile banking services.

Featured Story: Why does a company issue an IPO?

Want to see what other hedge funds are holding IBCP? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP)

Source: Ajo LP Trims Position in Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) – Rockland Register

Analyzing Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) & Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) – Sundance Herald

Analyzing Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) & Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO)

Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) and Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) are both small-cap finance companies, but which is the superior stock? We will contrast the two businesses based on the strength of their profitability, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, risk, valuation, earnings and dividends.

Carolina Financial pays an annual dividend of $0.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.9%. Independent Bank Co.(MI) pays an annual dividend of $0.72 per share and has a dividend yield of 3.3%. Carolina Financial pays out 11.2% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Independent Bank Co.(MI) pays out 42.9% of its earnings in the form of a dividend. Both companies have healthy payout ratios and should be able to cover their dividend payments with earnings for the next several years. Carolina Financial has raised its dividend for 4 consecutive years and Independent Bank Co.(MI) has raised its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

Risk & Volatility

Carolina Financial has a beta of 1.03, meaning that its stock price is 3% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Independent Bank Co.(MI) has a beta of 0.41, meaning that its stock price is 59% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Earnings & Valuation

This table compares Carolina Financial and Independent Bank Co.(MI)’s revenue, earnings per share and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio Net Income Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Carolina Financial $200.95 million 3.77 $49.67 million $2.86 11.86
Independent Bank Co.(MI) $175.59 million 2.91 $39.84 million $1.68 12.97

Carolina Financial has higher revenue and earnings than Independent Bank Co.(MI). Carolina Financial is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Independent Bank Co.(MI), indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Insider & Institutional Ownership

56.0% of Carolina Financial shares are held by institutional investors. Comparatively, 80.3% of Independent Bank Co.(MI) shares are held by institutional investors. 6.9% of Carolina Financial shares are held by insiders. Comparatively, 2.2% of Independent Bank Co.(MI) shares are held by insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a company will outperform the market over the long term.

Profitability

This table compares Carolina Financial and Independent Bank Co.(MI)’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Source: Analyzing Independent Bank Co.(MI) (NASDAQ:IBCP) & Carolina Financial (NASDAQ:CARO) – Sundance Herald

Freddie Mac posted updated Condominium project requirements

Freddie Mac posted updated Condominium project requirements in Guide Bulletin 2019-11. Highlights for Condo updates include Ineligible condominium projects, Condominium project reviews, delivery requirements  and Condominium projects with commercial parking facilities. Other updated information in the Guide include credit underwriting and mortgage eligibility, private flood insurance requirements and the addition of the demographic information addendum to Form 65, Uniform Residential Loan Application

Source: Content

The New York Times: Brazil Fails to Replace Cuban Doctors, Hurting Health Care of 28 Million

The New York Times: Brazil Fails to Replace Cuban Doctors, Hurting Health Care of 28 Million.
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/world/americas/brazil-cuba-doctors-jair-bolsonaro.html

The New York Times
Brazil Fails to Replace Cuban Doctors, Hurting Health Care of 28 Million
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This public clinic in Embu-Guaçu, Brazil, now has a primary-care physician on duty only one day a week.CreditMaira Erlich for The New York Times
By Shasta Darlington and Letícia Casado
June 11, 2019
Leer en español
EMBU-GUAÇU, Brazil — The shiny plastic chairs all sat empty in a public health clinic, and the patients who staggered in were told to come back Thursday — the only day of the week now when a doctor is there.

This small Brazilian city, Embu-Guaçu, home to 70,000 people, recently lost eight of its 18 public-sector doctors, a devastating loss for the city’s network of free clinics, forcing hard choices about who gets care and when.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Fernanda Kimura, a doctor who coordinates the assignment of physicians to the clinics for the local health department. “Like choosing which child to feed.”

The sick and the injured turned away that day in a working-class neighborhood of Embu-Guaçu represent only a tiny fraction of the estimated 28 million people across Brazil whose access to health care has been sharply curtailed, according to the National Confederation of Municipalities, following a confrontation between Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, and Cuba.

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In November, Cuba announced it was recalling the 8,517 doctors it had deployed to poor and remote regions of Brazil, a response to the tough stance against Cuba that Mr. Bolsonaro had vowed to take when he was elected in October.

The abrupt departure of thousands of doctors has presented Mr. Bolsonaro with one of his first major policy challenges — and has tested his ability to deliver on a promise to find homegrown substitutions quickly.

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Patients waiting to see a doctor at a clinic in Embu-Guaçu. “Now we end up doing triage all day,” said Erica Toledo, the head nurse at the Jardim Campestre clinic.CreditMaira Erlich for The New York Times
“We are graduating, I am certain, around 20,000 doctors a year, and the trend is to increase that number,” Mr. Bolsonaro said in November. “We can solve this problem with these doctors.”

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But six months into his presidential term, which started in January, Brazil is struggling to replace the departed Cuban doctors with Brazilian ones: 3,847 public-sector medical positions in almost 3,000 municipalities remained unfilled as of April, according to the most recent figures available.

“In several states, health clinics and their patients don’t have doctors,” said Ligia Bahia, a professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. “It’s a step backward. It impedes early diagnoses, the monitoring of children, pregnancies and the continuation of treatments that were already underway.”

‘Our Cuban brothers will be freed’
During his campaign for the presidency, Mr. Bolsonaro, a right-wing populist, committed to making major changes to the Mais Médicos program, an initiative begun in 2013 when a leftist government was in power. The program sent doctors into Brazil’s small towns, indigenous villages and violent, low-income urban neighborhoods.

About half of the Mais Médicos doctors were from Cuba, and they were deployed to 34 remote indigenous villages and the poorer quarters of more than 4,000 towns and cities, places that established Brazilian physicians largely shun.

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“The willingness of Cuban doctors to work in difficult conditions became a cornerstone of the public health system,” said Ms. Bahia, the professor.

Brazil paid millions of dollars a month to Cuba for the doctors, making them a vital export for the island’s coffers. But most of the money went directly to Cuba’s Communist government, an arrangement Mr. Bolsonaro warned he would change.

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A group of Cuban doctors who returned to Cuba in November waiting to meet the island’s president, Miguel Diaz-Canel.CreditDesmond Boylan/Associated Press
Cuban doctors have long complained about getting only a small cut of the money for their work, and Mr. Bolsonaro said they would have to be allowed to keep their entire salaries and to bring their families with them to Brazil. They would also have to pass equivalency exams to prove their qualifications.

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“Our Cuban brothers will be freed,” Mr. Bolsonaro said in an official campaign proposal presented to electoral authorities. “Their families will be allowed to migrate to Brazil. And, if they pass the revalidation, they will begin to receive the entire amount that was being robbed by the Cuban dictators!”

Two weeks after Mr. Bolsonaro won the presidency in October, Cuba ordered all its doctors out.

37,000 young children at risk of death
Access to free health care is a right under Brazilian law, and Mais Médicos was enacted in 2013 by President Dilma Rousseff in a bid to provide medical care to communities that were not being served by the public health system. Through a network of free clinics, the program provided 60 million Brazilians with access to a family doctor in their community for the first time.

In the first four years of Mais Médicos, the percentage of Brazilians receiving primary care rose to 70 percent from 59.6 percent, according to a report by the Pan-American Health Organization, which coordinated Cuba’s participation in the program.

The withdrawal of Cuban doctors could reverse that trend, with the consequences especially severe for those under 5, potentially leading to the deaths of up to 37,000 young children by 2030, warned Dr. Gabriel Vivas, an official with the Pan-American Health Organization.

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In February, it looked as if Mr. Bolsonaro would fulfill his promise: the national Health Ministry announced that all of the positions left vacant by Cuba’s withdrawal had been filled with Brazilian doctors. But by April, thousands of the new recruits had either quit or failed to show up for work in the first place.

More than 2,000 Cuban doctors have chosen to remain in Brazil, defying the call to return home. But with the special arrangement with Cuba terminated, they are now ineligible to practice medicine until they pass an exam — which the Brazilian government has not offered since 2017 and for which the Health Ministry has set no date.

Luiz Henrique Mandetta, Brazil’s health minister, said the new government was working on a bill to ensure the goals of Mais Médicos were achieved and the doctors replaced.

“Even if the program has various problems, it has a positive side, which is, precisely, diminishing the inequality in health care neglect,” he said.

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But Mr. Mandetta initially said the bill would be sent to Congress between April and May. Now, the ministry says it will be introduced by the end of June.

Karel Sánchez was one of four Cuban doctors sent to the remote region of Cachoeira do Arari in the Brazilian Amazon. He waited there for five months after his government ordered the withdrawal of all Cuban doctors, with the expectation that Mr. Bolsonaro would respect his campaign pledge to provide an exam so he could continue to work and receive his full salary.

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Dr. Karel Sánchez decided not to return to Cuba, expecting to be able to keep working in Brazil after taking a revalidation exam. That has not been the case.CreditMaira Erlich for The New York Times
“I was happy when Bolsonaro said he wouldn’t support a dictatorship,” Dr. Sánchez said.

In April, Dr. Sánchez gave up and moved to São Paulo, where he scrapes together money by selling homemade sweets and working as a baggage handler at an airport.

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“Now he doesn’t talk about us at all, just silence,” Dr. Sánchez said.

‘I told people to think about that before they voted’
In Embu-Guaçu, Dr. Santa Cobas, the Cuban doctor who had been serving residents at the clinic now only open on Thursdays, was still nearby and eager to work.

But Dr. Cobas is unemployed, and the 4,000 people she once cared for don’t have access to a local doctor six days a week.

“Now we end up doing triage all day — deciding who needs to rush to another hospital, who gets to see the visiting doctor on Thursday and who will just have to wait,” said Erica Toledo, the head nurse at the clinic, Jardim Campestre, which was opened in 2015.

“Dr. Santa was here from the first day, and it was the first time people felt taken care of by their ‘own’ doctor,” Ms. Toledo said. “They really love her.”

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The health secretary of Embu-Guaçu, Dr. Maria Dalva, said she was frustrated that 63 percent of the city had voted for Mr. Bolsonaro, despite his overt antipathy for Mais Médicos.

“The child mortality rate here dropped to 7 percent from 17 percent in five years thanks to Mais Médicos,” said Dr. Dalva. “I told people to think about that before they voted.”

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A nurse in an otherwise empty corridor at the clinic in Embu-Guaçu.CreditMaira Erlich for The New York Times
RELATED COVERAGE
Cuba Is Pulling Doctors From Brazil After ‘Derogatory’ Comments by BolsonaroNOV. 14, 2018
Cuban Doctors Revolt: ‘You Get Tired of Being a Slave’SEPT. 29, 2017
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