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Rethinking everything – Lesson #10: Another world

In Cuba, health care is considered a human right for all citizens and is therefore a national priority. Cuba’s health policy emphasizes prevention, primary care, services in the community, and the active participation of citizens. The backbone of the system is the community-based polyclinic, each of the 498 nationwide serving a catchment area of between 30 000 and 60 000 people. The polyclinics act also as an organizational hub for 20 to 40 neighborhood-based family doctor-and-nurse offices, and as accredited research and teaching centers for medical, nursing and allied health sciences students.

This system has produced an impressively high ranking on major health indicators, despite economic handicaps. The Cuban experience challenges the assumption that high-quality care for all citizens requires massive financial investment and suggests that the equitable distribution of health care services in the United States requires a national health insurance and service delivery system.

—Quoted from the World Health Organization and from
PubMed. a publication of the US National Library of Medicine


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