Chikungunya in Cuba

Zika Reveals the True Character of the Cuban Health Service

Zika Reveals the True Character of the Cuban Health Service / Juan Juan

Juan Juan Almeida, 18 August 2016 — While wards 3-A (they have also
prepared 3-B) and 4-A, on the third and fourth floors of the “Lucía
Iñiguez Landín” Clinical Surgery Hospital in Holguín, notable for their
absence of basic health care requisites, welcome Cuban patients with
confirmed and suspected cases of Zika, Dengue Fever and Chunkunguya,
ward 5F of the same hospital accommodates foreigners with similar
symptoms, in very different conditions.

“The photos I sent you reveal that this is a health service focussed on
showing a face which is acceptable to international opinion, and that
the enormous difference between the service received by sick foreigners
and Cubans has nothing to do with the everlasting claims of lack of
resources due to the blockade, but rather the indifference of the
government, the state, and MINSAP (Public Health Ministry) toward the
health of Cubans.” I have copied the exact words written to me by of one
of the doctors working in that hospital.

“The laboratory tests, which are carried out on each patient who is
admitted with suspected Zika, Dengue Fever or Chikunguya, are sent to
the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) in Havana,
because,” he added, “it is the only place where there is the technology
to confirm, or not, the existence of Zika. And this, along with the
constant holdups in transport and institutional bureaucracy, means
patients have to stay too long in hospital waiting for the results.”

“But the most bizarre part,” adds the doctor indignantly, “is that the
unexpected increase in patient admissions, and the time they are there
waiting for results, have generated a lot of extra work at Lucía Iñiguez
in Holguín, especially cleaning, which is, inexplicably, being covered
by female prisoners, who have, basically, been tried for prostitution,
with the service contracted to the provincial office of the Ministry of
the Interior Prison Directorate.”

Translated by GH

Source: Zika Reveals the True Character of the Cuban Health Service /
Juan Juan Almeida – Translating Cuba –

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