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Why Cuba is exorting Healthcare to the US

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by HM2VikingRN HM2VikingRN, RN (Member)

38,043 Profile Views; 4,700 Posts

Cubans say they offer health care to the world's poor because they have big hearts. But what do they get in return? They live longer than almost anyone in Latin America. Far fewer babies die. Almost everyone has been vaccinated, and such scourges of the poor as parasites, TB, malaria, even HIV/AIDS are rare or non-existent. Anyone can see a doctor, at low cost, right in the neighborhood.

The Cuban health care system is producing a population that is as healthy as those of the world's wealthiest countries at a fraction of the cost. And now Cuba has begun exporting its system to under-served communities around the world -- including the United States.

The story of Cuba's health care ambitions is largely hidden from the people of the United States, where politics left over from the Cold War maintain an embargo on information and understanding. But it is increasingly well-known in the poorest communities of Latin America, the Caribbean, and parts of Africa where Cuban and Cuban-trained doctors are practicing.

In the words of Dr. Paul Farmer, Cuba is showing that "you can introduce the notion of a right to health care and wipe out the diseases of poverty."

http://alternet.org/healthwellness/53087/

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4,491 Posts; 30,204 Profile Views

A friend visited Cuba in the 1990's when he was in his ninties.

Fluent in Spanish he walked around several Miami neighborhoods. A nurse lived on every block. Like a PHN they easily do case finding. Often the nurse recognizes an illness or pregnancy first.

His tour also visited rural agricultural areas. Always a nurse was the primary educator and case finder.

He found if he asked, "What do you think will happen when Castro dies." people became visibly afraid and wouldn't talk any more.

And these were very friendly, music and dance loving smiling people.

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DarrenWright specializes in Cardiac Surg, IR, Peds ICU, Emergency.

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Misleading.

Maybe fewer babies die in Cuba compared to other Latin American countries, but the sickest of the sick babies have a much better chance of survival in the US. And the last thing you can expect from Castro is honesty when it comes to reporting neonatal mortality.

Additionally, when freedom and a more democratic capitalistic society eventually takes root in Cuba (and someday it will), we'll see what happens to their numbers.

And if Cuba is a healthcare utopia, I wonder why tens of thousands of them take unhealthy risks every year to escape to the US.

http://www.canf.org/Issues/medicalapartheid.htm

Summary; smaller health-care budget than Jamaica. JAMAICA!! Cuba has a two-tiered system, denying services to the unprivileged. The embargo does not include medical supplies; US companies are free to sell medical supplies to Cuba. And the US is the biggest provider of humanitarian aid to Cuba, and it is believed the single-largest source of medications used by Cuban citizens is the MILLIONS of dollars worth of medicine send from Americans to relatives in Cuba.

So I ask; take away the outside support injected into this complete failure at self-sufficiency, and I'd like to know how much worse off the average Cuban citizen would be.

Excerpts; "The founder of Havana's International Center for Neurological Restoration, Dr. Hilda Molina, in 1994 quit her position after refusing to increase the number of neural transplant operations without the required testing and follow-up. She expressed outrage that only foreigners are treated. Dr. Molina resigned from her seat in the national legislature, and returned the medals Fidel Castro had bestowed on her for her work."

My favorite:

"A group of Cuban doctors recently arrived in the United States said they were "mystified" by claims in a recent report of the American Association for World Health (AAWH) that the United States embargo is to be blamed for the public health situation in the country.

According to these doctors, "we . . . can categorically and authoritatively state that our people's poor health care situation results from a dysfunctional and inhumane economic and political system, exacerbated by the regime to divert scarce resources to meet the needs of the regime's elite and foreign patients who bring hard currency."

Referring to the growing disparity between health care provided to ordinary Cubans and that offered to tourists and high ranking Communist party members, the exiled Cuban doctors noted that they "wish that any one of us could provide tours to foreign visitors of the hospitals Cira Garcia, Frank Pais, CIMEQ, and Hermanos Ameijeiras, in order to point out the medicines and equipment, even the bedsheets and blankets, reserved for regime elites or dollar-bearing foreigners, to the detriment of our people, who must bring their own bedsheets, to say nothing of the availability of medicines."

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DarrenWright specializes in Cardiac Surg, IR, Peds ICU, Emergency.

173 Posts; 2,624 Profile Views

I tried the web site of the organization. : http://www.canf.org/ . Here it is! - http://www.canf.org/2004/principal-ingles.htm

http://www.answers.com/topic/cuban-american-national-foundation

I'm going to post in Current events because I was ignorant about this organization.

Anyway I think a low infant mortality rate is good.

A low infant mortality rate is fantastic.

But just because a communist country tells the WHO they have lower infant mortality rates than the US does not necessarily make it the truth.

Otherwise, I'd encourage high-risk obstetrical patients to think if their child would have a better chance being born in Cuba.

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4,491 Posts; 30,204 Profile Views

My friend, a Harvard grad and retired public school teacher, told me a nurse lives on every block in the parts of havana and a small town where he went alone. This nurse is teaching, ensuring excellent nutrition for pregnant women, and providing assessments and screening for HTN, protein in urine, and such.

He said she does the same for HTN, diabetes, and other chronic conditions.

I never heard of anyone goind to Cuba to have their baby. Maybe what they do is prevent many pregancies from becoming high risk.

He did say that although the people were cheerful and enjoyed music and dance on every block HE would not want to live in a country where people are afraid to discuss their "president' or express a negative opinion. He suspected that such IS discussed in private.

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Pneumothorax is a BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, Emergency Medicine, Flight.

1,178 Posts; 17,766 Profile Views

if health care in cuba is so great why are they coming over to the US? i thought the living conditions are soo bad and everything is so horrible there?

:confused:

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