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Why and how is Cuban Health Care system is effective?

Cuba has the most effective health care system in the world. Death-Born ratio of their babies and children are extremly low. They can obtain most of the drugs for ridiculously low prices. They can slow down spread of epidemic (closest example I remember is swine flu epidemic) Their Med-Schools are quite advaned. Perhaps they don't have the best equipmnets in the world but Cuban doctors usualy very talented. And they built this system with one of worst economy in South America. No mine, no heavy industry only agriculture and tourism. How they built it? and Why we can't built it a better or even a similar system despite the resources we have?

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    Jan 28 2012: Legislation and government-corporate interference.

    The cost of treatment in the west is horrendously artificially inflated.
    Doctors are often coaxed/bribed into using treatment that isn't necessarily the best for the patient.
    Hospitals and doctors are consistently worried about being sued for every reason imaginable.
    Excessive paperwork drains the budget.
    The patient is secondary to what they can earn off of them.

    If you were to take a region of a country and replace all of its hospitals with make-shift military medical centres that are non-profit and simply treats its patients, the health care quality of the region would skyrocket whilst the cost of running it would be barely 1/200th.
  • Jan 31 2012: My siginificant other is Cuban, and though I don't have any personal experience with the system I can relay what I've heard from him, and also what I've experienced working as a student within the medical feild.

    The western system (Canada and America primarily) are set up in symptom treatment mode. The focus is not on prevention but on treating those who are already ill. This is reflected in when and why a majority of people go to the hospital or doctor's office. It's often not until they are so ill it can't be avoided any longer. Waits here are long, and based on illness severity, and the role of the "family" doctor is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Healthcare here, even in Canada, is not universally accessible also due to government funding, red-tape, and insurance costs.

    Where as in Cuba, at least Havana, doctor's offices are plentiful and you would go in if you were even feeling just a little bit of the sniffles. Medicine there is more preventative than symptom treatment. Also because of the government set-up healthcare is considered universally accessible.