This is the “social justice” and “equality” brought to Cuba by the socialist revolution: tourists with dollars get luxury healthcare, Cubans get nothing.
La Pradera and Health Tourism: Trading Oil for Physicians, Gold for Sleighbells
Clinics set up for-tourists-only are not only a far cry from the hospitals that regular Cubans have at their disposal, but also, they feed the myth that the island is a medical powerhouse, and clearly help the regime to garner income
“I don’t understand what is happening in our country, but please, at least guarantee medications for our sick people so that no one has to suffer what I am suffering.”
“Patients have to bring their own syringes from home, there is no surgical thread with which to suture wounds, nor gauze, nor intravenous supplies (…) one has to bring repurposed vinyl gloves to the hospital.”
“(My two-year-old niece) waited for hours in a hospital, and finally had to be transferred in a truck (…) because there was no fuel for the ambulances (…). There is no surgical thread with which to suture wounds; pregnant women are not getting treated for vaginal discharge because there’s no medication in supply for treatment (…) only emergency surgeries are being performed.”
“There were no bed sheets. The beds and mattresses were disgustingly filthy. There was no running water. The bathrooms were horrendous. The food was terrible.”
If you wanted the doctor or nurse to see you, you had to go out looking for them, and make a scene.” “I had to procure the medications on the street, overpay for them, and even then, I wasn’t treated well,” is what several Cuban patients published on Facebook.
These are brief excerpts of doctors and patients’ testimony about hospitals in Cuba.
On social media alone and via independent journalists, one can read on a daily basis, complaints about the precarious state of medical services in the island; about deaths due to medical negligence; about the lack of essential medications in local pharmacies; about ambulance services in a country that has available only 100 vehicles from its national fleet in the whole country; about the mistakes, the mistreatment and bad practices on the part of professionals that only make life more painful for the sick and their families.
The Communist Party’s ideological department prohibits journalists from their propaganda outlets to investigate thoroughly, critically and impartially any issue concerning public health. Also, there are no trustworthy statistics available on the matter, although a short visit or stay in any hospital for-Cubans-only would be enough to confirm how dismally different are the conditions of hospitals where foreign tourists and high-ranking government officials are treated.
“On the western part of Havana, in the Siboney suburb, stands the International Healthcare Center La Pradera, a very pleasant natural environment enhanced by fresh breeze and generous vistas, a luscious green landscape and spacious hotel installations, is designed for a calm and restful stay. La Pradera is a corner of Cuba that in the last 13 years has allowed 58,500 Venezuelans to not only recover their health but also improve their quality of life through the Cuba-Venezuela Comprehensive Agreement.”
“Patients enjoy a pleasant stay at La Pradera, along with a five-star hotel, and all the comforts and services at their disposal. By the same token, family members who also travel to Cuba to accompany their relative that is receiving treatment, will in many cases be treated as well should they become ill.”
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