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How Cuba’s Health Care Costs 96% Less and Gets Same Results

The following article from the blog AlterNet shows how Cuba achieves virtually the same quality of health care as the United States, but at 96% less cost. What’s this country’s secret? An emphasis on preventive care. The results prove that this approach works better than America’s profit-driven “sickcare” industry:

“The Cuban approach to health care is so different that it cannot be described using the concepts that are so problematic in the US. It goes beyond taking profit out of medicine. Cuba’s system is not a perfect one (and indeed, the issues of government repression and poverty remain stark there) and yet it stands alone in constructing an advanced health care system with extremely limited resources.

What it has accomplished is remarkable. Life expectancy climbed from 58.8 years at the time of the 1959 revolution to 73.5 years by 1983 and 78 years currently. Cuba has eradicated polio, controlled malaria and dengue and decreased infant, child and maternal mortality to be roughly equal to rates in the US. Cuban medicine is widely recognized by international health groups such as UNICEF as surpassing that of developing countries and being comparable to developed ones.”

The foundation for the transformation is a commitment to health care as a human right. There is a strong connection between poverty and sickness. Better care is understood as interwoven with improvements in housing, education and employment.Read the entire article by clicking here. Using the sickcare system in the United States often feels like an ordeal. It’s because we insist on treating health care like a commodity to be bought and sold. But it doesn’t have to be that way. For Cubans, going to see the doctor is as simple as walking to the local market. Neighborhood clinics and house calls are the norm. Cuba’s commitment to primary care results in healthcare outcomes that are on par with developed countries. Cuba demonstrates that a healthcare system based on helping people is more efficient, more economical, and far superior than a sickcare system that supports greed.Sylvia Moore is a guest blogger representing California OneCare, Full Care For All, For Life, For Less.

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