Blogs > Liberty and Power > Free Health Care for Roaches in Cuba

Jun 21, 2007 10:44 am

Free Health Care for Roaches in Cuba

Prompted by Michael Moore's valentine to Cuban health care,"Sicko," I am reposting these and other photos.

According to this website, the following photos were taken just a few years ago at a Havana hospital that Castro has praised as one of the"most modern in Cuba."

The first shows roaches on the hospital floor that were smashed by the shoes of patients and family members and the second is of a curtain next to the bed of a patient getting an IV (the black specks are flies!). The third photo is a sink used by doctors who treat samples taken from orthopedic patients. The final scene is of a toilet used by emergency-room patients.

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Mark Brady - 6/22/2007

Agreed. All statistics should be treated with caution. And I completely agree with Sudha that "the impact of Castroite policies on Cubans' lives is found in other areas."

I suggest, however, that the statistics I cited are more meaningful to more Cubans than some photos of a dirty clinic posted on a Cuban emigre website.

And let's compare Cuba with, say, Guatemala. In Guatemala the infant mortality rate is 29.77 per thousand live births (in Cuba it is 6.04 per thousand live births) and the life expectancy at birth is 69.69 years (in Cuba it is 77.08 years).

Steven Horwitz - 6/22/2007

And Aeon's explanation of the infant mortality statistics also helps explain the closeness of the life expectancies.

The additional premies who are born alive in the US drag down our average life expectancy *at birth*. If those same pregnancies end in still-birth or miscarriage in Cuba, they do not figure in average life expectancy at birth, causing that number to be relatively higher.

So the explanation of why those two stats are the way they are is, in fact, a tribute to advanced medicine in the US and thus perfect illustrations of the point David was making in the original post.

Aeon J. Skoble - 6/22/2007

Misleading statistics, exhibit A. If you have in Country A extremely advanced fertility technology and NICU care, far more infants will come into existence than in underdeveloped Country B. But many of them simply won't make it. So they show up as "infant mortality" statistics in A, whereas in B they'd be stillborn or miscarried. What's our infant mortality rate for full-term, non-complicated pregnancies to healthy moms? I'll bet it's a whole lot better.

Sudha Shenoy - 6/22/2007

1. There are some problems with comparing US & other infant mortality rates -- differing definitions. This has come up in other contexts.

2. Life expectancy is similar in many countries with very different living standards,& levels & composition of outputs.

The impact of Castroite policies on Cubans' lives is found in other areas.

Mark Brady - 6/22/2007

The infant mortality rate in Cuba (6.04 per thousand live births) is lower than that in the U.S. (6.37 per thousand live births).

Life expectancy at birth in Cuba (77.08 years) is not much less than that in the U.S. (78 years).

My source is The World Factbook 2007 published by the CIA, which, I suggest, does not have a vested interest in boosting the credibility of Castro's regime.