Cuba and its Health Care

By | April 16, 2015

As different of United State, which has a health care system operates mainly as a private multipayer system, the Cuban health system is universal and free for all Cuban without restrictions. The Cuban government guarantees free medical and hospital care, as free dental care. Mental health is also considered part of the National Health System making its diagnosis and treatment free for all Cuban citizens. In addition, the Cuban health care system cover all medical treatments services as well as medicines. Cuba has one of the highest doctor per patient ratio in the world with one doctor per 170 people.

Is truth that health care system is free, but why are these many unhappy doctors? Why many doctors leave their careers to go to work like waitress? Why many Cubans doctors emigrate to others countries to change their life and their families? There many reasons why Cubans doctors do not want to work rather than doctors at the Island.

The main reason is the doctors’ salaries. The government can afford so many doctors because they are paid extremely low salaries by internationals standards. The average is between $30 and $50 dollars per months.

The second reason could be that Cuba currently exports considerable health services and personnel to different countries like Venezuela, Africa, Ecuador, Brazil, and others. Cuba has more than 50,000 health care professionals are working in some 66 nations. Cuban doctors are “slave workers”, who labor for meager wages while bolstering Cuba’s image as a donor nation and the Cuban government exports these doctors as merchandise.

Even Cuban’s government expects to take in $8.2 billion dollars a year for sent them to care people in poor countries, Cuba hikes salaries for doctors and nurses that do not exceed $50 dollars a month.  Cuban’s health care workers on international missions earn high salaries and in hard currency.

For many Cubans doctors is a wonderful options to be sent to work to other country because through this way they can emigrate to a develop country for a better life, in contrast Cuban government do not permit them to be accompanied by relatives to their international missions to prevent doctors desert or leave Cuba permanently. Many doctors are forcing to return Cuba after their international missions.

Other reason is that hospital and clinics are crumbling. Conditions are so unsanitary, patients may be better off at home, whatever home is. If Cuban patients do have to go to the hospital they must bring their own bed shuts, soap, towels, food, light bulbs, fan even toilet paper. Also basic medications are scarce and an antibiotic will fetch a fortune on the black market.

The equipment that doctors have to work with is antiquated or non-existent. They have been known to reuse latex gloves. Doctors are not privileged citizens in Cuba and many of them have a second job like taxi driver.

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