Friday, 8 June 2007

Cuban Doctors

The Cuban Healthcare system seems to be drawing a good deal of attention these days. It features prominently in Michael Moore's new documentary, Sicko. Slate ran a short explainer on why there are so many Cuban doctors all over the world. Its interesting that Cuba, despite being so heavily sanctioned, is on the cutting edge of Cancer research and other Biotechnologies.

This comprehensive article talks about how Cuba is beginning to export its medical system to other poor central American nations, and also notes how it provides scholarships for poor students from around the world, (including the U.S.).

Cuban doctors and medical teams are always amongst the first to arrive at sites afflicted by natural disasters, and often the last to leave. They made a big impact in Pakistan after the horrific earthquake in 2005 - several thousand volunteers treating over 1.7 million patients! Here is an article from an Indian current affairs magazine on the Cuban initiative. Sharmeen Obaid kept a diary when she volunteered as a translator during the relief efforts, which you can read here.


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