Dr. Darsi Ferrer, Director of Health & Human Rights Center "Juan Bruno
Havana, August 6, 2007.-There is no doubt that the Cuban authorities will
not allow the Cuban people the possibility of watching this documentary by
Michael Moore, a leading movie producer and ideological ally of the Cuban
Although it might look contradictory, the propaganda used in the film to
discredit the USA health system while trying to highlight the excellence of
the Cuban health system, turned out to be considered "subversive" by the
Cuban regime. It so happens that he based his arguments on gross lies that
do not represent at all the Cuban health drama.
It is well known over the world that Fidel Castro went to look for a Spanish
doctor when he had a health crisis. A few years ago the Under Secretary of
Health, Abelardo Ramirez, went to France for medical treatment where he
underwent surgery for a gastric cancer that eventually took his life. In the
same manner, the neurosurgeon Domingo, a doctor who is part of Fidel
Castro's personal medical team and Chief of the CIMEQ Hospital, went to
England to avail himself of Ophthalmologic services for surgical treatment
for his eyes problems, periodically returning there for checkups.
How come that those who are part of the top echelon of the government,
having access to all the privileges and resources the country offers to
them, when their own health problems are at stake they showlittle or no
confidence in the "competent revolutionary medicine".
The Cuban health system can be described with one word: Chaos. The majority
of the installations are in ruins, with continued great physical
deterioration coupled with disastrous operating conditions. In contrast, the
exclusive medical institutions, reserved for foreigners with hard currency,
members of the "ruling elite" and the high ranking military personnel offer
excellent medical services. These institutions are: International Clinic
"Cira Garcia", International Clinic of Retinosis Pigmentosa, International
Center for Neurological Restoration (CIREN), Center for Medical Chirurgical
Investigations (CIMEQ), Koly Clinic and the best (exclusive) floors of the
"Almeijeiras" and "Frank Pais" hospitals, among others. In these centers, to
which the access is denied to the Cuban people except the above mentioned,
the medical staff is highly qualified with a superb professional status,
conditions are optimum, the hygiene is adequate, there is cable television,
piped music and they are well equipped and have all the necessary resources.
There is within the health system what the regime falsely calls
"international missions" which is the only possibility for the health staff
to obtain a few dollars to satisfy some of the pressing daily life
necessities required to survive in the country But, there is always a catch
under the Cuban regime, the "internationalists", as they are called, are
exploited as cheap labor and are forced to participate in the psychological
manipulation of the people of the countries they are sent to because "their
real mission" is to propagate the Marxist-Leninist totalitarian model.
Those who have read our previous article on this subject are familiar with
the details of disastrous Cuban health system. However, we should add that
the main problem facing that system is the lack of motivation among the
health professional because they unable to satisfy the minimum life
necessities with the meager salaries they receive. This situation generates
a high level of iatrogenic ailments (ailment generated or induced by the
physician?s manner of handling or discussing a case), deficiencies and
negligence in the daily provision of medical services.
Another important factor contributing to damper the motivation of the health
professional is the number of limitations imposed on them for their
rofessional development. They are denied access to the internet and free
participation in international courses and events. Up to date medical
literature and opportunities to keep up to date with the scientific advances
worldwide are not there at all.
As a matter of fact, thousands of physicians and other health professionals
who have the aspiration of professional development and growth have been
waiting for years to be "liberated" lo leave the country. Many of them are
held in akin to hostage conditions and many of them, with their relatives
out of the country, suffer the trauma of being separated from them.
In conclusion, it does not surprise anybody in Cuba, that Michael Moore
would choose the "Almeijeiras" Hospital to demonstrate the excellence of the
Cuban Health System. The explanation is simple: none of the ruinous
hospitals available to the Cuban people could have been used to film his ill
intentioned documentary. And, of course, the tyranny can not afford to have
the people see this documentary showing what everybody knows is not the
reality of the Cuban health system, one of several show places where the
average Cuban citizen is denied access. For this reason the documentary is
banned in Cuba.
Comisión de Derechos Humanos
Junta Patriótica Cubana
Transalation: Dr. Roberto A. Galloso
Comisión de Relaciones Públicas.