I have recently returned from visiting Cuba. Cuban culture is varied and vibrant and — man alive — what emotions it evokes! The island’s music — salsa, rumba, and timba, among other styles — has become world renowned. Its food is fast becoming a favorite cuisine in major cities all over the earth. A visit to this uncustomary island provides so much more than a chance to relax in the warm Caribbean sun.
As a doctor, I was very interested in Cuba’s unique health care system. Built on a strong foundation in primary care, Cuba provides comprehensive health care to all residents of the island. I had a few prearranged meetings with doctors in several clinics and got to see one emergency room on the island. There is no doubt that resources – material, financial, and human – are stretched as Cuban health authorities attempt to cover their own population and carry out an expanding program of global cooperation in health, unprecedented in scope for any developing country.
Cubans are wont to say: ‘no es fácil’ (it’s not easy), but just as apt to say ‘no hay problema’ (it’s no problem). And this paradox could certainly be used to describe where the ever-evolving Cuban health system finds itself today.
Until next time,