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Extraordinary Achievements: Don Fitz’ “Cuban Health Care”

Cuban doctor: Vaccines in Haiti

Cuban Health Care: The Ongoing Revolution
296 pp, $26 paper, ISBN 978-1-58367-860-2
By Don Fitz

Reviewed by Peter Arkell

The cost of healthcare per person in Cuba is one twentieth that of the United States. “Why?” Peter Arkell asks, and Don Fitz answers in his book Cuban Health Care: “Poor countries simply cannot afford such an inefficient health system. Well over a hundred countries are looking to the example of Cuba, which has the same 78-year life expectancy as the US and spends only 4 per cent per person of US health costs.” More specifically, Arkell explains, citing Fitz, this is a result of “insurance fragmentation; both under and over-treatment; sickness looping (when treatment leads to more sickness and then more treatment); drug looping (when drug side-effects lead to physicians prescribing more drugs); over-diagnosing (often with pressures from the drug companies); over-pricing of drugs; widespread profiteering, and very high salaries for doctors.”

Arkell concludes that Cuban Health Careis a carefully researched account of the extraordinary Cuban health care story that grew out of the revolution. It will give inspiration to those who dream of a new kind of strategy for health provision in their own countries, under a not-for-profit system, free from Big Pharma and capitalist governments.

Read the full review at The Real Democracy Movement

Monthly Review Press
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