Health and Medicine

Cuba: A Model for Healthcare Reform from a Surprising Place

It looks like my review of Don’s book is getting picked up by a lot of outlets. That’s good because his book really exposes the US healthcare system for the scam that it is.

By Keith Preston, Global Research

The issue of healthcare reform is one that is consistently identified by opinion polls as being among the most important to Americans. The United States continues to be the only fully industrialized nation that lacks a public healthcare system, a feature of modern “democracy” that is taken for granted in most developed countries. Most American proponents of healthcare reform typically cite the models utilized by Canada, Western Europe, or Australia as the most appropriate guides for the implementation of universal healthcare in the United States. However, Don Fitz, a Green Party activist, provides a comprehensive overview of a model for reform that originates from what many would consider to be a surprising place. Cuba is widely regarded by Americans as an impoverished “Third World” nation. Yet, Fitz’s Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution describes how Cuba’s approach to healthcare during the six decades since the 1959 revolution has produced rather extraordinary results.

The overview of Cuban healthcare begins with an examination of the challenges that Cuba faced immediately following the revolution. Previously, healthcare in Cuba had been almost entirely private. After the revolution, Cuba lost approximately half of its physicians with most of these becoming émigrés to the United States in search of a more lucrative place to practice medicine. Only about three thousand Cuban physicians remained and those who stayed did so out of a commitment to their profession. The methods of funding healthcare before the revolution typically relied on either fee-for-service relationships between physicians and patients or “mutuals” that functioned as a kind of private insurance system operating on a semi-cooperative basis. The very limited healthcare that was available to the poor was mostly provided by the state.


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