US Blockade Affects Cuban Health System

Havana, Sep 15 (Prensa Latina) The impact of the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the United States to Cuba still remains today in high social impact sectors such as health.

According to the report on the damage of that unilateral measure, which will be voted on at the UN General Assembly on October 26, the siege has maintained as the main obstacle for the development of the Caribbean nation.

As for the effects on health in Cuba, the document specifies that the damage caused by the blockade since its beginning more than 50 years be estimated at about $2.6 billion USD.

The text states that from April 2015 to April 2016, the amount has exceeded $82,723,000 USD, an increase of more than $5 million USD compared with the 2014-2015 period.

Such damages are expressed in the impossibility to acquire in U.S. markets medicines, reagents, spare parts for diagnostic and treatment equipment, surgical instruments and other supplies necessary for the functioning of the sector.

In most of the cases, the acquisition of those products was achieved in geographically distant markets, making difficult, expensive and slows the access of patient to them, the text says.

The blockade also affects the number of U.S. low-income youth who could enroll a medical career or have access to training courses in different branches of medical sciences in Cuba.

For its part, the impact on the public health system of constant brain drain and skilled workers from that sector through the so-called Cuban Medical Professionals Parole Program is also on the list.

This plan is only applied to Cuban doctors and medical staff working in internationalist missions. It affects not only third-country patients but also the health of the Cuban people.

Despite the improvement in the bilateral relationships between Cuba and the United States, this program is representative of the hostile policy maintained by the U.S. government,the document says.

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