NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


December 27, 2006

Given the claims of Fidel Castro and his apologists that communist health care is a humane and superior alternative to that in the capitalist world, it is somewhat surprising that the ailing dictator refuses to use it, says Investor's Business Daily (IBD).

Instead he has had Spanish doctors bring in new capitalist-world medical equipment, part of a series of such shipments the Cuban government has been quietly provisioning for Castro.   But while he has opted for a free-world doctor whose accomplishments were developed in an atmosphere of open inquiry and market forces, ordinary Cubans continue to suffer under his "free" plan, says IBD:

  • In a 2003 report, the National Institute of Health's American Journal of Public Health found that 33 percent of all Cuban refugee children have intestinal parasites, 21 percent have lead poisoning and all have higher-than-normal levels of disease.
  • A separate study by Baylor University found that Cuban refugees' primary risks are malnutrition, tuberculosis and dengue fever.
  • During the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, elite Cuban athletes showed the highest use of the Olympic system's free health clinics; medics reported that Cuban athletes' long-neglected health needs went as far as a lack of even simple dentistry.

Unfortunately, Castro himself has had no such problems, says IBD. Ordinary Cubans may get abysmal care, but under the country's two-tier medical system, the communist party elites get whatever they need. And if you are Castro, you can tap services from the capitalist world.

Source: Editorial, "Castro's Special Care," Investor's Business Daily, December 27, 2006.


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