No Harms – Free Healthcare in Cuba

Cuban health care is exceptional – everyone has access to a doctor and coverage is free.

Campion, M.D. & Morrissey, Ph.D., 2013

(Edward & Stephen, “A Different Model — Medical Care in Cuba” New England Journal of Medicine, Online: http://www.sld.cu/galerias/pdf/sitios/santiagodecuba/nejmp1215226_1.pdf)

Internet access is virtually nonexistent. And the Cuban health care system also seems unreal. There are too many doctors. Everybody has a family physician. Everything is free, totally free — and not after prior approval or some copay. The whole system seems turned upside down. It is tightly organized, and the first priority is prevention. Although Cuba has limited economic resources, its health care system has solved some problems that ours has not yet managed to address. Family physicians, along with their nurses and other health workers, are responsible for delivering primary care and preventive services to their panel of patients — about 1000 patients per physician in urban areas. All care delivery is organized at the local level, and the patients and their caregivers generally live in the same community. The medical records in cardboard folders are simple and handwritten, not unlike those we used in the United States 50 years ago. But the system is surprisingly information-rich and focused on population health.

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