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Reuters: Cuban Health Care Better Than US

From those lovers of communist dictators at Reuters:

Health care in Cuba more complicated than on SiCKO

By Anthony Boadle

HAVANA (Reuters) – When Jose Luis Cabrera had coronary by-pass surgery after a heart attack five years ago, his wife had to bring food and clean sheets to him in the hospital. The operation itself didn’t cost the Cuban couple a cent.

“I am so grateful. They saved his life,” said his wife, Daisy Martinez, who works as a cleaner in an office. “It would have cost a fortune in the United States.”

Hospitals in Cuba are often shabby and badly-lit, and lack equipment and medicines. But the health system built by President Fidel Castro’s government has produced results on a par with rich nations using the resources of a developing country.

Experts say that is because Cuba focused on prevention and because its universal free health care allows Cubans to see a doctor quickly and treat illness before it needs costly procedures…

On key statistics measured by the World Health Organization, Cuba is in line with the United States.

The average life expectancy of a child born in Cuba is 77.2 years, compared with 77.9 years in the United States, according to the WHO.

The number of children dying before their fifth birthday is seven per 1,000 live births in Cuba and eight per 1,000 in the United States.

Yet the United States spends more than 26 times as much on health, $6,096 per person a year, compared with only $229 in Cuba, the WHO figures show.

While Cuba has 73,000 doctors, twice as many doctors per capita as the United States, in recent years it has sent as many as 15,000 to work in the slums of Venezuela, its main political ally, in exchange for vital oil supplies…

Dr. David Hickey, a transplant surgeon at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, said Cuba is a world leader in primary health care based on preventive medicine.

“It’s a very sobering experience for someone coming from the affluent West to see what they can achieve,” he said…

A decades-old U.S. trade embargo against Cuba forced it to develop its own molecular biology industry, which produces innovative drugs that prevent rejection in transplants.

Cuba has developed the world’s first Meningitis B vaccine which is available in Third World countries but not in Europe or the United States due to U.S. sanctions.

Hickey said Cuba’s health care budget was no larger that [sic] his hospital’s.

Cuba looks after 11 million with the same budget and produces better health care in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality and vaccination rates than we do,” he said.

Maybe if our watchdog media repeats this laughable lie often enough it will become true.

By the way, Dr. Hickey is a longtime Castro stooge:

David Hickey won an All-Ireland Football medal in 1974 with the Dublin team. At last year’s All-Ireland this team was honoured at half-time in Croke Park. Each member of the team was called out, stepped forward and acknowledged the applause of the spectators. When Doctor David Hickey’s name was called, he stepped forward, removed his jacket to display an “End Cuban Blockade” slogan on his white shirt.

David is a Beaumont Hospital consultant. His interest in Cuba started when he was working in France and met a number of Cuban doctors. In 1998 he visited Havana to see for himself the effects of the American embargo on the health of the Cuban population.

“Cuba can’t import more than 60% of medicines because of the American inputs into those products. There are children on chemotherapy who are vomiting 20 times in 24 hours because the medicine to stop them vomiting can’t be imported,” David said. He has now gained support from doctors across the country. In April he will lead 40 doctors on a fact-finding mission to Cuba to study the health effects of the blockade.

But that doesn’t stop Reuters from citing him as if he is an objective observer.

He said what they (and Castro) wanted said.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, June 25th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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