Saturday, October 16, 2010

Joel Gutierrez: Cuba's Health System and Global Health Innovations

Joel Gutierrez: Cuba's Health System and Global Health Innovations from chris keefer on Vimeo.

Joel Gutierrez, Chair, Clinical Neurophysiology Dept and Deputy Research Director of the Cuban Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery Professor at the Havana Medical University.

Since the 1959 revolution Cuba has developed one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world, particularly considering its low-income status. Cuba has accomplished this feat through a focus on primary preventative care integrated within the community as well as incorporating a public health lens into its general policy making. Remarkably Cuba's impressive health indicators have weathered the contraction of its economy following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ongoing hardships faced by the island in the face of the current global economic crisis and the ever-present economic blockade imposed by the USA.

In addition to these domestic accomplishments Cuba has developed and maintained an unprecedented capacity for medical solidarity sending tens of thousands of health professionals to countries across the global south including most recently Venezuela, Pakistan, Bolivia and Haiti. Finally Cuba is reversing the brain drain suffered by countries of the global south by educating tens of thousands of low-income international medical students on full scholarships through its flagship program the Latin American School of Medicine.