B.L. Larson writes a letter to the Star Phoenix in Saskatoon, Canada commenting on a recent column published in the paper extolling the virtues of Cuba’s health care system and how Canada should emulate it:
Key fact ignored
Mark Lemstra’s column Prevention-focused Cuban model offers lesson (SP, Jan. 31) was interesting, if not amusing.
The editors of U.S. medical journals who reportedly went to investigate how Cuba can have the same health outcomes as more developed countries at a fraction of the cost missed an important fact. They (and Lemstra) failed to point out that the lowest-paid health sector employee in Canada makes more than 50 times what most Cuban doctors (and indeed all health care workers there) earn.
When I spent time with a Cuban doctor a few years ago, he was earning $25 a month. His wife, a dentist, made about the same. Most Cubans made $20 a month. My recent inquiries about the salary of average Cubans show that their salaries have not changed significantly.
Oh, and their 98 per cent vaccination rate – I don’t doubt it. There is no opting out of vaccinations in this communist country as there is in Canada or the United States. No matter how misguided their reasons, parents in Canada can choose not to have their children vaccinated.
Cuba’s 99 per cent literacy rate can also be due in part to the fact that there is no significant truancy in the government controlled schools.
Regardless, do you really believe the statistics thrown around by a communist country’s bureaucrats, whose prime purpose is to shed a very positive light on Castro’s regime? In such a country Lemstra would never be allowed to continue to write his ever-critical rants about our health-care system.
Ah, the price of freedom.
B.L. Larson Saskatoon