THE SICKO DOCUMENTARY IS BANNED IN CUBA

Havana, August 6, 2007.-There is no doubt that the Cuban authorities will not allow the Cuban people the possibility of watching this documentary by Michael Moore, a leading movie producer and ideological ally of the Cuban regime.

Although it might look contradictory, the propaganda used in the film to discredit the USA health system while trying to highlight the excellence of the Cuban health system, turned out to be considered “subversive” by the Cuban regime. It so happens that he based his arguments on gross lies that do not represent at all the Cuban health drama.

It is well known over the world that Fidel Castro went to look for a Spanish doctor when he had a health crisis. A few years ago the Under Secretary of Health, Abelardo Ramirez, went to France for medical treatment where he underwent surgery for a gastric cancer that eventually took his life. In the same manner, the neurosurgeon Domingo, a doctor who is part of Fidel Castro’s personal medical team and Chief of the CIMEQ Hospital, went to England to avail himself of Ophthalmologic services for surgical treatment for his eyes problems, periodically returning there for checkups.

How come that those who are part of the top echelon of the government, having access to all the privileges and resources the country offers to them, when their own health problems are at stake they showlittle or no confidence in the “competent revolutionary medicine”.

The Cuban health system can be described with one word: Chaos. The majority of the installations are in ruins, with continued great physical deterioration coupled with disastrous operating conditions. In contrast, the exclusive medical institutions, reserved for foreigners with hard currency, members of the “ruling elite” and the high ranking military personnel offer excellent medical services. These institutions are: International Clinic “Cira Garcia”, International Clinic of Retinosis Pigmentosa, International Center for Neurological Restoration (CIREN), Center for Medical Chirurgical Investigations (CIMEQ), Koly Clinic and the best (exclusive) floors of the “Almeijeiras” and “Frank Pais” hospitals, among others. In these centers, to which the access is denied to the Cuban people except the above mentioned, the medical staff is highly qualified with a superb professional status, conditions are optimum, the hygiene is adequate, there is cable television, piped music and they are well equipped and have all the necessary resources.

There is within the health system what the regime falsely calls “international missions” which is the only possibility for the health staff to obtain a few dollars to satisfy some of the pressing daily life necessities required to survive in the country But, there is always a catch under the Cuban regime, the “internationalists”, as they are called, are exploited as cheap labor and are forced to participate in the psychological manipulation of the people of the countries they are sent to because “their real mission” is to propagate the Marxist-Leninist totalitarian model.

Those who have read our previous article on this subject are familiar with the details of disastrous Cuban health system. However, we should add that the main problem facing that system is the lack of motivation among the health professional because they unable to satisfy the minimum life necessities with the meager salaries they receive. This situation generates a high level of iatrogenic ailments (ailment generated or induced by the physician?s manner of handling or discussing a case), deficiencies and negligence in the daily provision of medical services.

Another important factor contributing to damper the motivation of the health professional is the number of limitations imposed on them for their rofessional development. They are denied access to the internet and free participation in international courses and events. Up to date medical literature and opportunities to keep up to date with the scientific advances worldwide are not there at all.

As a matter of fact, thousands of physicians and other health professionals who have the aspiration of professional development and growth have been waiting for years to be “liberated” lo leave the country. Many of them are held in akin to hostage conditions and many of them, with their relatives out of the country, suffer the trauma of being separated from them.

In conclusion, it does not surprise anybody in Cuba, that Michael Moore would choose the “Almeijeiras” Hospital to demonstrate the excellence of the Cuban Health System. The explanation is simple: none of the ruinous hospitals available to the Cuban people could have been used to film his ill intentioned documentary. And, of course, the tyranny can not afford to have the people see this documentary showing what everybody knows is not the reality of the Cuban health system, one of several show places where the average Cuban citizen is denied access. For this reason the documentary is banned in Cuba.

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