sábado, marzo 01, 2008

Surely, we can aim higher than Cuba.

By: Joe Hvilivitzky.
Dave Thomas is, of course, entitled to wring his hands over what he perceives to be the slide of our beloved health-care system into the clutches of private enterprise, as expressed in his letter Feb. 23 bemoaning the "P3 partnership" for the planned hospital in St. Catharines. There are credible arguments on both sides.
What I take issue with is his pointing to Cuba as a shining example of a system we should emulate.
While Cuba indeed has widespread literacy and universal health care, neither was sufficient to dissuade 1.5 million people from fleeing the country to the United States since the "people's" Revolution in 1959. And the reason citizens must flee is because they're not allowed to leave of their volition. Nor do they have free elections (unless, of course, they wish to vote for a Castro), nor do they have free access to the Internet, nor do they have anything resembling a free press, nor do they have freedom of religion.
Those poor foreign students Mr. Thomas refers to, getting free university education in Cuba? I think it's safe to surmise there's more indoctrination than education going on there.
Mr. Thomas says Cuba has the lowest infant mortality rates in the Americas. However, a report in the Miami Herald in January 2007 raises disquieting doubts about those figures, both in their compilation and in medical practices involving forced abortions.
(By the way: If the Cuban health-care system is so good, why did they have to fly in a physician from Madrid to treat Fidel when he became ill in 2006?)
As for all those Cuban doctors working in poor countries, at least 20,000 health professionals are working in Venezuela, but rather than altruism they're there in return for oil shipments to Cuba. It makes one wonder if the quality of care back on the island isn't closer to the conditions Canadians endure in the average hospital emergency unit here.
Despite Cuba's natural beauty, its wealth of resources and its wonderful people, it continues to be run by a couple of Marxist thugs, Fidel and Raul Castro, clinging fanatically to a failed ideology.
Let Canada look to other countries for examples of successful health-care systems - ones that aren't repressive regimes that employ violence to spread the evil of communism, responsible for so much misery and death in the 20th century.
Joe Hvilivitzky, Chippawa

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