Post history[ edit ] An emphasis on public health and preventive treatment characterized health policy from the beginning of the s.
But how great is the system really? The Cuban healthcare system, borne out of its revolutionary socialist ideology, regards accessibility to healthcare as a fundamental right of its citizens.
It focuses heavily on a preventative approach to medicine and offering the simplest check-up to the most complex surgery, free of charge. Dental care, medicines and even home visits from doctors are all covered by the system.
The island has the health statistics to support this seemingly impeccable system. An infant mortality rate of 4. My answer would be no. I had the opportunity to spend seven years in this country as a medical student and saw firsthand the positives as well as the negatives of this healthcare service.
As an American citizen, I was always impressed by how much Cubans were able to accomplish with so little. The professionalism and humility displayed by healthcare workers was without doubt commendable.
In addition they do this without access to the latest in diagnostic technology or have to wait weeks for basic equipment to arrive at hospitals to perform procedures, even at times without electricity or running water.
They still find the strength to push through all these obstacles and challenges to deliver a service worthy of praise. Cuban doctors generally remark that becoming a doctor in their country is not about the money but about the need to help others.
This was one of the first things I was taught in medical school.
Though a noble sentiment, this is a main issue with the Cuban model. Many doctors opt for participating in these missions as the salaries they receive are remarkably better even though the Cuban government receives about a third of it.
Sending thousands of doctors overseas, though a commendable action, leaves a domestic system under pressure. With fewer doctors and specialists at home, queues at hospitals and clinics are longer, and so are waiting times. Doctors have more work to cover in a stressful profession with limited resources.
A patient may end up travelling to another province to visit a specialist because the one stationed nearest to him or her has been sent to Venezuela.
This may be the reason why many more medical professionals are currently being trained across Cuba to help fill the void left by those sent around the globe.
Crumbling infrastructure The healthcare infrastructure in Cuba also requires serious attention. Some of the clinics and hospitals in operation are in dire need of repairs.
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