Newsbusters’ Rich Noyes was astounded that CNN would use a Communist propagandist in a report about Cuban health care:
There’s something deeply wrong with journalism that scrutinizes and criticizes the institutions of free and successful nations, but produces puff pieces on the supposed achievements of totalitarian dictatorships. On Thursday, CNN aired a piece of Communist Party propaganda about how Cuba could serve as “a model for health care reform” in the United States, complete with an authoritative sound bite from an American medical expert, identified only as someone “who’s lived and worked in Cuba for decades.”
But the expert, Gail Reed, is a longtime admirer of the Cuban revolution, married to the Cuban official who served as ambassador to Grenada in the early 1980s when U.S. troops liberated the island from hardline communists who had executed the leftist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop. She’s also worked at Granma, Cuba’s official communist party newspaper.
Here are some excerpts from the report:
How does health care work in Cuba? It’s not an easy question to answer, but there are some impressive statistics. According to the World Health Organization, Cuba’s life expectancy is 78 years. The same as Chile and Costa Rica and the highest in Latin America. And its infant mortality rates are the lowest in the hemisphere, in line with those of Canada.This clinic in Managua, a community outside Havana, is one of the country’s newest and best equipped. It serves a population of some 15,000 people. The director tells us under one roof she has dentists, general practitioners, physical therapy, homeopathic medicine and a laboratory that makes vaccines.
[NEILL IN CUBAN CLINIC]: Built just five years ago, this clinic is really a symbol of what Cuba wants to do with health care all over the country. You can see the machinery is new. The walls, freshly painted. It’s an idea of where the country wants to go, the future of its health care, all of it free of charge.
How does Cuba do it? First of all, the government dictates salaries. Doctors earn less than $30 per month. Very little compared to doctors elsewhere. And priority is given to avoiding expensive procedures, says Gail Reed, who’s lived and worked in Cuba for decades.
GAIL REED (IDENTIFIED ON SCREEN AS: ‘CO-PRODUCER, SALUD’): They concentrate on prevention. They concentrate on bringing services closer to people’s homes so that the big-ticket items don’t really take up, don’t sponge up all that small budget they have.
NEILL: But Cuba’s system certainly has its problems. Many hospitals and emergency rooms are decrepit and even unsanitary. Equipment is frequently old. And patients often supply their own sheets and food while in the hospital. Health officials admit the system isn’t perfect, but, they say, no one falls through the cracks. Morgan Neill, CNN, Havana.
Yes, “falling through the cracks” is the least of their problems.
Here, via The Real Cuba, is another description of …health care in Cuba:
THIS IS THE FAMOUS ‘GREAT AND FREE HEALTHCARE’ THAT REGULAR CUBANS RECEIVE
One of the greatest fallacies about the so called ‘Cuban Revolution’ has to do with healthcare.
Foreigners who visit Cuba, are fed the official line from Castro’s propaganda machine: “All Cubans are now able to receive excellent healthcare, which is also free.” But the truth is very different. Castro has built excellent health facilities for the use of foreigners, who pay with hard currency for those services.
Argentinean soccer star Maradona, for example, has traveled several times to Cuba to receive treatment to combat his drug addiction. But Cubans are not even allowed to visit those facilities. Cubans who require medical attention must go to other hospitals, that lack the most minimum requirements needed to take care of their patients.
In addition, most of these facilities are filthy and patients have to bring their own towels, bed sheets, pillows, or they would have to lay down on dirty bare mattresses stained with blood and other body fluids.
An e-mail and a photo from a reader who just returned from his first visit to Castroland: “My God, I have just returned from my first visit to Cuba. I am SO sorry for what Fidel Castro has done to this beautiful country and people. I visited a hospital in his home town of Santiago and could not believe my eyes, it was disgusting. I could never imagine my parents or family having to endure a night in that shithole with cockroaches. What has this man done to this beautiful country and people? I thought S. Africa was bad enough but the real poverty and what I saw defies description, I was truly angered , frustrated and really saddened. F.C should be ashamed of himself. I cannot sleep without thinking of all those poor people left to their own devices, hardly any food, vegetables, fruit. I saw the REAL Cuba as I have a Cuban friend but I am sure most tourists do not even have a clue what is happening there. 20 Oct 2008.T.T”
An American reporter writes about the medical apartheid that she witnessed in Cuba
Those of you who saw Michael Moore’s documentary “Sicko,” would remember the scene where Moore and his guests walked into a Cuban pharmacy and asked for an asthma medication, Salbutemol, and immediately the clerk opens a drawer and gives it to one of the guests, a woman from New York, who then begins to cry when she learns that in Cuba that medicine costs only a fraction of what it costs in New York. According to Moore, his guests received the “the same care” that any regular Cuban would receive, “no more, no less.”
But the scene at the Cuban pharmacy, as the whole portion of Sicko filmed in Cuba, was a fallacy conceived, scripted, staged and rehearsed by the Cuban regime with Moore’s acting the part of the useful idiot.
In an article titled “Catching a cold in Cuba,” Sally Melcher Jarvis, a correspondent for a Pennsylvanian newspaper who went to Cuba in November of 2007 accompanying a humanitarian mission organized by a local museum, found out about the apartheid that regular Cubans are suffering since Castro turned them into second class citizens in their own country.
Here is part of what she wrote: “It wasn’t much of a cold; just the kind that would get better by itself in a week. In the meantime it was a nuisance with a cough and stuffy nose. A little over-the-counter remedy would help…..There were no over-the-counter remedies to be had. I asked the guide what Cubans did if they had a cold. The guide said that a Cuban would go to the doctor — a visit free of charge — who would write a prescription for aspirin. However, there would be no way to fill the prescription. We visited a pharmacy later in the trip. Behind the counter five well-dressed Cuban women waited to serve, but the shelves were empty. The only items in sight were the monthly ration of sanitary napkins, 10 permitted per Cuban woman per month.
It was like being in a dream where two different things can happen at the same time. We were in a two-tier system: one for the privileged (tourists, for example) and the other for those who lived and worked in socialist Cuba. Our luxurious state-owned hotel was closed to Cubans, except for those who worked there. A Cuban could not even come in for a meal.
It was depressing to see attractive and intelligent people restricted and denied opportunity in such an appealing land only 90 miles away from our country. The accident of birth has put me in a free country and I have never been so grateful.” Click here to read the entire article.
There’s much, much more at the link, but in the meantime, enjoy these pictures from our “model for health care reform”:
A patient’s bed at that same facility
Emergency Room at Quinta Covadonga, now known as Salvador Allende, Havana
Bathroom from Emergency Room at Quinta Covadonga
This photo is not from Auschwitz, it was taken in one of those famous “free health care facilities” in Castro’s Cuba
Floors full of excrements, bare mattresses, terrible and even worse medical attention
I apologize if this report doesn’t meet with the approval of the Communist government of Cuba.