May Day: Reasons to lead the march

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May Day: Reasons to lead the march
Fecha de publicación: 
1 May 2019
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Cuba’s health workers will open the May Day March at the historical Revolution Square Jose Marti, a well-deserved privilege that is backed by first-world health statistics.

Cuba’s infant mortality in 2018 was 4.0 per thousand live birth and the island reached the highest number of surgical interventions (above 1 million surgeries), of which 16.2% were minimally invasive surgeries with great results in indicators of efficiency.

Dr. Jose Angel Portal Miranda, Cuba’s Minister of Public Health, pointed out in a recent meeting held with delegates to the 21st Congress of the Central Workers’ Union of Cuba that 539 transplants —58 more than in 2017— were carried out.

Cuba has one doctor and one stomatologist in 118 and 595 inhabitants, respectively. The goal now is to enhance the Cuban Family Doctor-and-Nurse Program, conceived by the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro in 1984, as primary health care allows a totally free and accessible system sustainability.

The road taken has been hindered by several obstacles; being the US blockade on the island for more than half a century one of them. Economic damages reach the stunning figure of millions US dollars and in 2018, they exceeded the 104 million US dollars.

Everything undoubtedly affects services, academic researches, and technological innovations.

Nonetheless, the policy of the State and Government —which spends 27% of its budget and near 11% of its GDP— is increasingly headed to guaranteeing a coherent public health care that place above all everything else the principles of equity and social justice of the Revolution.

The aging of the Cuban people (20.3% of the population is +60 years old), the rise of service exports, and the high prices of new technologies, are some of the most important challenges.

Cuba is proud of taking under its wings 2,076 +100 years-old citizens. The life expectancy of the nation reaches the 78,45 years old. These are irrefutable signs of the efforts made by the Revolutionary Government for the people.

However, there are some discontent related to the quality of services, stability and functioning of the Cuban Family Doctor-and-Nurse Program, availability of medicines, as well as the work in drugstores, among others.

In the field of medical cooperation, Cuba boasts today 30,954 health collaborators in 66 nations. More than 22,000 are serving in the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela as if they were truly guardian angels.

Something to highlight was the work done by Cuban doctors in Brazil as part of the Mais Medicos Program. This collaboration came to an end after the disrespectful comments made by president Jair Bolsonario.

In the word of Dr. Santiago Badia Gonzalez, secretary general of the National Trade Union of Health Workers, is a great pride to open the parade “since we are the very essence and achievement of the Revolution.”

He also stated that around 60,000 health workers will march in Havana. Workers from BioCubaFarma were added to this Trade Union (more than 20,000 members), which is an entity with 32 enterprises and 61 production lines.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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