Cuba Closes Health Care Facilities

HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban government closed hundreds of health care facilities (including hospitals, clinics, medic stations and dental clinics) as part of a program that began in 2010 to reduce “unreasonable costs” weighing on the island’s health care system.

According to a news note from AFP that cites Cuba’s National Bureau of Statistics and Information, the Cuban government has closed twenty-five general hospitals and six maternal-child units, while sixteen were eliminated or converted into polyclinics.

The number of clinics decreased from 488 to 452, while the offices of the Family Doctor program were the only ones that increased – with 20 new units.

The cost reduction plan is aimed at “reorganizing, streamlining and regionalizing health services across the country,” reported the Granma newspaper two years ago.

Nevertheless, according to recent statements by Health Minister Roberto Morales, the country has the infrastructure and personnel required to ensure the quality care of citizens.

Even after the cuts, Cuba continues to devote 52 percent of its national budgets to health care, education and social security.