Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sicko: Why the US Government Hates Cuba (Health Care)

Future doctors from across Latin America, trained in Cuba for free

Health care is one major reason US policymakers have long hated Cuba. The spectre of socialized medicine in a developing country like Cuba producing results on par with the US scares the crap out of those on the right, as well as many democrats. As the President of UNICEF has said, if the rest of Latin America were to have Cuba's heath care system and numbers, 700,000 lives could be saves PER YEAR.

Fidel Castro has always made health a priority. If the people were healthy and getting healthier, so was the country. Health became a way to show off cuba to the world. All measures of health indicators, but espcially infant mortality and life expectancy rates, began to be compred with the US. These indicators are considered two of the most important for evaluating socioeconomic development because they are based on things like nutrition, health care, sanitation, education, housing, lifestlye and equality.

Cuba gives her citizens 100% free medical care including major surgery, eye and dental. The socialist Constitution guarantees this. Cuba has one doctor for every 156 of her citizens (in comparision, blacks have 1 doctor of every 1,449 according to the US census). Despite the exodus of up to 90% of its pre-1959 doctors and specialists, today Cuba has more Doctors per capita than anywhere on earth. In comparision, the whole of sub-saharan continent of Africa only has 60,000 doctors.

The life expectancy in Cuba was 45 years before the Revolution in 1959, but today is 77.8 years. Once common diseases have been eliminated. The AIDS rate is the lowest in the region. The most current infant mortality rate in Cuba is 5.3%, compared to 7.0% in the US. Cuba has clinics available in every town and within range to even the most remote areas of the country.

Cuba has so many Doctors, it can afford to send 30,000 all around the world, to 120 countries, usually in the most desperate slums and rural areas. Cubans are still volunteering in disaster zones like Pakistan-India, Indonesia, and Honduras. Five medical schools have been set up in Africa and Latin America. Cuba has 10,000 foreign students in its medical schools, all on full scholarship (including 82 minority students from America). Cuba has offered to train 500 Americans a year, just as long as they serve poor communities in the US for 5 years after they graduate.

Cuba has developed a strategy to set up 11 medical schools in Africa that should produce 20,000 students per year for the next 10 years to bring the total number of doctors to 250,000 in ten years (quadrupling the total number of doctors is something that should win a peace prize). Medical schools have been set up in Bolivia.

Under "Operation Miracle" Cuban doctors have performed 400,000 operations to return sight to the blind. Patients are flown and put up in Cuba for free, with help from Venezuela. Ophthalmology centers have been set up in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Cuba’s goal is to cure most of the estimated 5,000,000 blind people in South America. Cuba has even offered free eye surgery to 100,000 American citizens, but the US Government ignores the offer.

It all sounds pretty evil eh? So evil the US Government beleives we must not allowed to see these things (or film them).



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