HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Monday, August 21, 2006

Cuban Health Care

Ezra Klein has an interesting post on the Cuban health care system.  Apparently some individuals seem to think it is a system to be copied.  However, he provides an educational counterpoint to this view:

I'm always skeptical when I hear good liberals waxing rhapsodic about the wonders of the Cuban health care system. Not only is there a total dearth of decent data on the country's care, but what does exist tends to be agenda-driven and ideologically colored. But it is interesting to read why Hilda Molina, one of the countries most honored and highly placed surgeons, resigned her position and became a hated enemy of Fidel's:

In 1989, Dr. Molina realized a longtime dream by getting the government to establish the International Center for Neurological Restoration. The center conducted research and treated Cubans from all walks of life for maladies such as strokes and epilepsy. Fidel Castro would come for visits, often with foreign dignitaries in tow. "It was a point of pride that Cuba could have such an advanced facility," says Dr. Molina, who was rewarded with a seat in the Cuban Parliament. . . .

But in the 1990s, the collapse of the Soviet Union, which had bankrolled the Castro regime, began undermining the project to which Dr. Molina had dedicated her life. Dr. Molina says authorities ordered her to begin setting aside more beds for paying foreign patients, rather than ailing Cubans. "It was all about earning hard currency for the government," she says.

The entire piece is well worth a read as we wait to see how well Fidel Castro recovers.

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