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March 14, 2005
The Mythology Of Cuban Medical Care

For those who support or sympathize with Fidel Castro and his dictatorship of Cuba, no argument comes up more frequently than the supposedly marvelous health-care system that Castro has created for the Cubans. They routinely credit him with managing to deliver world-class facilities and treatment, equally for all Cubans, far surpassing even the United States in egalitarianism and effectiveness. For some people, that level of medical care outweighs Castro's oppression, which would be ludicrous even if they were right about the medical system they espouse.

Unfortunately, that system is a myth, as Val Prieto points out in Babalublog. Val points out a March 6th article in Gentunio, translated partially here, which has a number of pictures of Clnico Quirrgico in Havana. Here's what Fidel Castro said about Clnico Quirrgico in 1989:

"Now, the old hospital has turned into one of the most modern and best ones in the capital. I should explain that this hospital provided services to a large number of people who live at the other side of the Almendares River." ... "Not only did the number of beds increase, with blocks and civil construction spreading throughout almost 30,000 square meters of construction, but the power unit is totally new-boilers, electric power generators, etc.["]

Reporters from Gentiuno managed to get into the actual hospital with a camera, and they found a much different situation. For example, this is what they found in the emergency room:

cubaho5.jpg

Yes, those are cockroaches, at least the Darwin Award winners that got caught under the feet of patients, doctors, and staff. Lord knows how many smarter ones have managed to stay alive. They may come from the restrooms for the emergency room:

cubaho1.jpgcubaho4.jpg

If one manages to survive surgical treatment in the emergency room, then they have plenty of time for infection, er, reflection in the recovery room. Take a look at that area and tell me if you'd feel healed by resting a while in here, first the ceiling and then the floor:

cubaho34.jpg
cubaho13.jpg

Remember the new power system that Castro had installed in 1989? It looks like he skipped a few items on the checklist. Either that, or the hospital wants to drum up more business through electrocution of patients and staff:

cubaho15.jpg
cubaho28.jpg

When leftists tell you that Castro may have his faults but he provides for the Cuban people with his marvelous health system, try to remember these pictures. I wouldn't send a stray dog to a facility like this to get put to sleep, let alone receive treatment. And this is what Castro considers a jewel in the crown of the Cuban HMO program. Be sure to read Val's entire post, and if you read Spanish, check out Gentiuno's article for more details.

UPDATE: Welcome, Instapundit readers!

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 14, 2005 12:19 PM

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» Saw this, and shuddered. from Milblog
Seeing I just had hernia surgery, I saw a link to the supposed epitomy of Cuban medical care over on Captain's Quarters - this being a hospital that was opened in '89. Now, one of the supposed sucesses of Cuba... [Read More]

Tracked on March 14, 2005 3:23 PM

» That Cuban Health Care System from Patterico's Pontifications
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» But hey, it's free! from Cynical Nation
Captain Ed has an expos of Cuba's vaunted "health care" system, including pictures. Go check it out... if you've got the stomach for it. [Read More]

Tracked on March 15, 2005 1:28 PM

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