A First-Hand Experience with Cuba’s Healthcare System

By Fernando Ravsberg


HAVANA TIMES — Our blog, Cartas desde Cuba, has a new member: Lucia, our webmaster’s daughter, born yesterday in Havana’s Gonzalez Coro Hospital. There, we were able to see Cuba’s public health system at work, and understand why infant mortality rates are so low in the country.

Throughout the past 9 months, the new mother had around 2 weekly consultations, from checkups to ultrasounds (one of them 3D), through HIV, RH and genetic blood tests.

On D-Day, we ran into the first surprise on arriving at the hospital and being informed that no outside sheets or towels may be brought into the ward, that only properly sterilized materials may be used. A sign that things may be improving in terms of resources, I thought.

What came as no surprise was the attitude shown by doctors. From the moment our friend arrived, she was treated by a well-oiled machine, passing through the emergency ward to the pre-partum area, where the specialists accompanied her till labor.

At that moment, the doctor who had been following the pregnancy appeared to deliver the baby. An hour later, we were told Lucia had been born without any complications and that friends and relatives could go in to see her for a few moments.

For the 3 days the mother and baby stayed at the hospital, they were subjected to numberless tests to ensure both were in perfect condition to be discharged.

If we were to try and nitpick here, I feel they should develop a better system to keep relatives informed, as, under the current system, one only gets updates every 12 hours. As such, one can spend half a day knowing nothing about the pregnant person.

It is well worth mentioning our friend is Cuban and she received the same care all other 14 Cuban mothers (of different skin colors and from different social classes) received that day. We thank the nurses and doctors and welcome Lucia into this world.

26 thoughts on “A First-Hand Experience with Cuba’s Healthcare System

  • November 9, 2015 at 5:25 pm

    Fair enough. I apologize for any misunderstanding. The Translating Cuba site has a wide spectrum of views, and they are journalists writing from within Cuba. I do not agree with all their articles; however, it is the best site thus far that I have encountered. Havana Times may have its merits, but I believe it could definitely be more objective as this healthcare article illustrates.

  • November 9, 2015 at 2:53 am

    Well that is a huge cop out from rational argument. I read all the contributions on this site and whatever their views I wouldn’t once say that anyone was lying or a government agent of any kind. Life isn’t one big conspiracy.

  • November 8, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    What are you talking about? ….Comrade, huh? You obviously have not read my posts. My suggestion that you read the comments portion of havantimes en Español is so you can see how real Cubans, in this case mostly not from Cuba where access to this site is spotty, ridicule the Castro regime. And my suggestion to visit a hospital in Matanzas was to ilistrate the deplorable conditions of these hospital. ….all lost in translation I believe. So Im not sure what lies you are exposing precisely.

  • November 8, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Thank you for your recommendations. My reading is not limited to just this one site but I think its quite unfair to label havanatimes.org as deceitful or less than legitimate. Whatever the site editor, Circles Robinson’s, personal political beliefs, he does a pretty good job of publishes stories that span the political spectrum. It’s readers also reflect that diversity, providing for lively debate and discussions. One of the problems with some of the sites you mention is that they are political echo chambers with everyone sharing the same views. There is room in the Cuba debate for a wide spectrum of views, even those that are obvious propaganda. Those lend themselves to the most lively of debates, which is probably what I enjoy the most.

  • November 8, 2015 at 11:25 am

    I was born in Cuba and lived there. You need to read my prior comments. You can save your conceit for the gullible and uneducated. Good luck with your studies, comrade.

  • November 8, 2015 at 9:10 am

    Yes, Canadians and other foreigners have been propping up the genocidal Castro regime for 56 years. You have nothing to be proud of. You are complicit in their crimes against humanity. You should be ashamed.

  • November 8, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Good luck with your studies comrade. Thank-you for exposing what and who you really are. Your lies will not work on me. I know the truth firsthand.

  • November 8, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Yes Dani, that’s what I’m saying!

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