Cuba's Healthcare System

Fidel Castro's system of socialist and communist policies has done some great and not so great things for his country. However, one of the best things that it has done for the country of Cuba is that it has brought healthcare to all Cuban citizens.

In fact, Cuba's healthcare in some ways is better than that of the United States and many other countries in the developed world. For example, the average life expectancy is currently 77.45 years in Cuba while the United State's life expectancy is currently 78 years old. They have managed to reduce their levels of AIDS infection down to 1/6 of what it is in the United States. Their state subsidized healthcare system did have a few problems following the downfall of the Soviet government, but it has recently seen a surge of patients thanks to its track record.

There are still some challenges with the healthcare system in Cuba though. Mostly it is with supplies and the pay of the various types of doctors. Sometimes, especially in rural areas, key medical supplies are missing. This means people could die simply because there is no supplies available to treat them with. This is not only a sad situation, but one that could be prevented. Doctors are also paid next to nothing in Cuba. This is because the entire country is still in a stage of poverty. Many doctors get as little as $15 a month to take care of their patients. This is little for them to live on, and many doctors simply are leaving the medical field because of it.

What many Cuban doctors have been doing is they are in fact leaving their own country and heading to the United States and any other country that will take them. This is not just to earn more money, but to escape the lack of medical supplies in some areas. People often pay $50 to $60 for an x-ray, which can be very difficult for the average Cuban citizen to afford. There are special hospitals and facilities that are taking care of Cuba's growing health tourism industry. You actually will go to Cuba to receive healthcare treatment. This is pretty crazy, but people actually will do it! The prices are not nearly as high as most other countries and you get top service at a great price. Most of these hospitals are focused on specialized types of surgery that are traditionally expensive in other countries.