In Cuba, the infant mortality rate is 4.0 for every 1,000. However, it’s 5.9 in the U.S. In a New York Times Opinion piece, Nicholas Kristof wrote about how the healthcare system in Cuba guarantees universal access and positively affects the health of Cuban citizens.
Acknowledging that the statistics should be taken in “with a dose of skepticism” in that many who live in Cuba live under a repressive economy without a meaningful vote, stories from Cuba show a significant positive influence of quick and free access to physicians. In Cuba, every neighborhood has a consultorio staffed by one doctor and nurse, where the physicians know every patient in the neighborhood. This, alongside a number of home visits, allows patients to have free access whenever something may be wrong. Because of this, many pregnant women can visit the doctor numerous times during pregnancy and avoid certain issues.
However, it is to be noted that significant differences between the healthcare systems in the United States and Cuba. In the article, it cited that the U.S. differs in being extremely costly for patients but meanwhile, although the Cuban system permits screenings for breast and cervical cancer on a regular basis and catch the disease early, the U.S. is much further ahead in having the technology for radiation treatments. Additionally, in exporting skilled doctors abroad, Cuba benefits in taking in surpluses from premiums earned.
Nonetheless, it should be acknowledged that there is a benefit to having quality doctors accessible in every neighborhood, and for free.
“Outsiders mostly say they admire the Cuban health system. The World Health Organization has praised it, and Ban Ki-moon, the former United Nations secretary general, described it as “a model for many countries.”