The Unhealthy Public / Rebeca Monzo
Rebeca Monzo, 20 January 2017 — Our media are filled with praise for the
Cuban public health system. This is a subject that foreigners who visit
our country pay a lot of attention to, due to the government propaganda
and official statistics provided to international organizations, which
tourists also show a lot of interest in.
There are two or three hospitals and policlinics shown off to visitors,
which are “duly prepared.” Even so, and I know from experience, they are
not in the optimal conditions that should be.
I felt “fortunate,” when for the first time in all those years, I had to
go to one of these “model” centers to receive physiotherapy treatment,
due to two tremendous falls I took, thanks to the broken streets and
sidewalks and in a terrible state, which proliferate in our city.
The staff in attendance in this department is good, friendly and
prepared, but the conditions for delivering the best treatment don’t
really exist. Numerous people come to this department, having suffered
some kind of accident or simply suffering from the passage of years.
From the waiting room to the physiotherapy department there is a
hallway through which all the patients have to pass, most of them old
people with crutches or canes, and they must avoid a perennial puddle of
water, where even the policlinic’s pets come to drink. Also, of the two
bathrooms for the waiting room, only one is working, the ladies, which
the gentlemen also have to use.
The different cubicles where physiotherapy happens are adorned with
ragged and dirty curtains, some of them half off. Also, the furniture in
the rooms is mostly covered in dust. It seems there are no cleaners or,
simply, they are paid so little they don’t do a good job.
And if that wasn’t enough, the biological wastes are deposited directly
into trash collectors, without being put in closed trash bags or
incinerated as they should be.
Imagine, if this is the policlinic they show foreigners (only the best
areas), you can imagine what the rest of the ones we ordinary citizens
have to use are like. And don’t even talk about the hospitals, they’re
Source: The Unhealthy Public / Rebeca Monzo – Translating Cuba –