Cuba slashes more than 100,000 health care jobs

HAVANA — Cuban authorities say they have eliminated more than 100,000 jobs in health care, considered one of the “pillars” of the 1959 revolution.

The cuts come as President Raul Castro tries to streamline government as part of a broader economic reform package.

The weekly labor newspaper Trabajadores said Monday that 109,000 health care positions have been cut.

Two years ago, Cuba said more than 50,000 jobs in the sector had been slashed. Most of the cuts came in less-skilled positions such as ambulance drivers and hospital support staff.

Cuba’s health care sector is entirely run by the state. Authorities have said that like other areas of the economy it is plagued by inefficiency, redundancies and bloated payrolls.

About 400,000 islanders are currently working independently of the state under Castro’s reforms.

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