We have a relative living in Cuba who has recently become very ill, and we’ve been absolutely shocked at the care she has been getting. When Michael Moore praises the Cuban medical system, he really had no fucking clue as to the kind of care normal Cubans actually get.
Cuba has one health care system for foreigners and a very different one for Cuban citizens. Cuba has a “health export” industry for foreigners and diplomats, with a modern hospital that provides world class medical care at very low prices.
However, Cuban citizens (this includes even people who have gotten citizenship in other countries… the government will consider you Cuban if it says Havana for your place of birth) are absolutely banned from using these facilities (even if they had the money to pay).
The “hospital” our relative is in has a room for about 50 women, no running water (the relatives of patients need to bring buckets), no sheets (provided by relatives), and obviously no air conditioning since they only sometimes have electricity. There’s no detergent, so the relatives have to wash the sheets with salt.
Needless to say, she is doing very badly and it doesn’t look like there’s anything we can do to help.