Brazil's health ministry says more than 1,000 doctors who signed up to replace Cuban doctors who served in rural areas have quit within three months.

The doctors who quit represent 12% of the 8,500 physician positions that opened after the end of an agreement with the Cuban government.

The program known as More Medics was an agreement signed in 2013 between the Brazilian and Cuban governments that brought thousands of Cuban doctors to far-flung corners of rural Brazil where medical professionals were scarce.

Days after being elected, President Jair Bolsonaro said he would renegotiate the program, calling it "slave labor" because the Cuban government received a portion of the doctors' salaries. The Cuban government then said its doctors would no longer participate. Bolsonaro said they'd be replaced with Brazilian doctors.