Cuba's "Family Doctor" Program
Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
What is the Family's Physician Program?
Cuban News from Havana, Cuban Interests Section, No. 118, 24 October 1997
During the 1980's, as an answer to the need of keep on increasing the people's health level, a new approach was introduced in health primary attention and the model of family's physician and nurse emerged, as well as the Integral General Medicine specialty.
The family's physician and nurse are the cornerstone in primary health attention and it is combined with the second and the third health attention levels. They cover a very well limited territorial area: some one hundred and thirty families on the average. They identify health problems at individual and familiar group levels, they try to give solution by means of an integral approach, they characterize the area's epidemiological profile and they accomplish health promotion actions interacting with comunity to incorporate healthy habits in the population.
This community health attention has increased health levels in urban and rural zones in few years. This family's physician and nurse program has been introduced in work centers, schools, nursery schools, merchant marine and agricultural cooperatives. The objective is to reach people in their own educational and occupational environment.
Including the students graduated in the 1994-1995 course the family's physicians amount to 23 203 and they are taking care of 96% of the Cuban population.
Every fifteen or twenty family's physicians a basic working group is created, with the corresponding number of nurses, a teacher from each basic specialty -internal medicine, pediatrics and gynecology and obstetrics- a psychologist and a nursing supervisor, their headquarters is in a "policlinico" or in a rural hospital. The family's physician and nurse academic training contributes to scientific training through practice: real problems in real scenery. As a result of this policy, citizens do not go to the physician, but health personnel is the one who assist children, students, workers and families wherever they may be.
CUBAN INTEREST SECTION