Look “Abroad”, Cuba’s Medicine Ordeal

Pharmacy in Mayari, Holguin, where people wait for some medicines to be delivered.

By Aurelio Pedroso (Progreso Semanal)

HAVANA TIMES – Diagnosing an illness or turning to famous protocols to determine where the sickness is coming from, isn’t the most complicated and tiresome moment for our doctors and other health professionals; this only comes when they have to prescribe the right medicine, not even an alternative, to treat it.

Even so, they normally make mistakes. If there are sad smiles, you have the lab technician who looks at the prescription and wonders if the doctor knew that there isn’t iodine powder for these solutions in the entire city.

The medicine crisis is so old that there isn’t even a privileged memory that can remember the time when it all began and just how many times representatives from the Public Health Ministry have made a public appearance to try and explain shortages and their plans to improve the situation.

In such a bleak landscape, we have members of the illicit market making a fortune out of such an abominable job. If executions in public squares ever existed in Cuba, they’d be the first ones to go up to the gallows for having profited off human health.

Any sane Cuban can tell you their story. Some people will tell you how much they had to pay just for a simple blister of tablets, while others will also excitedly tell you how a stranger gave it to them without charging a cent.

Then, you have GPs, who ask you if you have family or someone you know living abroad before writing your prescription, so you can ask them for the huge favor of getting antibiotics or anything else you need to you.

Look for it “abroad”, they tell you so you can look to Miami, Europe or even Vietnam for a acetaminophen and caffeine that is significantly effective, even against testicular pain.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.