In the latest Granma International, Cuban writer Orlando Balado and photographer Aahmed Velasquez, combine to present glimpses of the advanced Medical/Hospital institutions available to Cubans and friendly foreign tourists and patients in need of special care. If you are poor, or Cuban, there is no fee, but there is space for a relative in a dormitory or nearby room.
Patients come from Latin America and elsewhere, and praise the humane treatment, the advanced knowledge and techniques, the caring intelligent, pleasant unhurried staff and the professional excellence available.
There are specialized Hospitals that have made real advances in treating multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, cerebrovascular illness and cerebral infarctions, traumatic lesions of the spinal cord and craneoencephalitis, damage to the nervous systems of children, tumours of the nervous system, epilepsies and other neurological and neurosurgical diseases, as well as nuclear radiation sickness and tumours.
Visitors have learned that many of the principles and modern medications are the result of Cuban research in medical sciences, above all in the fields of genetic engineering and biotechnology. "They are curing my liver disease successfuly with Cuban interferon". said Romero from Chile. "This is why we constantly heard talk of interferon, immunoglobulin, recombinant Strepto- kinase, epidermal growth factor and the meningitis vaccine -all nationally produced under such names as Diramic, Suma, Cardiocid and others", explained two Doctor patients from Uruguay.
"We faxed many countries including Sweden for help for my rheumatoidal scleroderma. The Cira Garcia Clinic in Havana was the only one to offer help", said another Doctor patient, "They even produce T immunoglobulins. Then there is their human warmth for all the people here, so much above average care."
The Granma reporters left, feeling a warm sense of pride. The list of hospitals and treatments are endless. If in trouble, ask!
Then there is journalist Leonardo Anoceto's description of the Nature and Health Centre -Kurhotel Escambray with its 210 rooms for stressed citizens or tourists. In a National Park, 88 metres above sea level, it has swimming pools, squash and tennis, orchids, birds highly skilled medical and paramedical staff intent on repairing the customers who arrive for rehabilitation. There are multiple therapeutic techniques with modern equipment and specialized people supervising nutrition, exercise, fitness, herbal medicine and revitalizing programs for chronic, non-contagious diseases (and follow-up treatment) executive spa and beauty clinic.
Cuba's gay and lesbian people are now provided with their own small nature village - 200 inhabitants. Friends and relatives can stay and the patients can go home on weekends. Cuba is testing vaccines for a comprehensive treatment of HIV affected people.
Americans could perhaps consider quietly, what Cuba, starved, cheated and lied about, but not on the ropes, can do for its own and other peoples, yet the USA fights its working and poor peoples with all the might of its failed, rigid capitalist system?