HuffPo, and this story of a vaccine to help treat lung cancer. Possible? Sure; it's not like Cuba would have trouble rounding up some annoying protesters to use as test subjects; we'll see if it actually pans out. The ass-kissing starts with
So far, 5,000 patients worldwide have been treated with CimaVax, including 1,000 patients in Cuba. Lee said the latest Cuban study of 405 patients, which has not yet been published, confirms earlier findings about the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. What's more, the shot is cheap -- it costs the Cuban government just $1, Wired reported. And studies have found there are no significant side effects.
Considering how the average Cuban lives, and what people are allowed to(officially) be paid, wonder what that $1 works out to in real money? And just how trustworthy are the studies?
And then we get this wonder:
Despite decades of economic problems and the U.S. trade embargo, Cuba has been a model of public health. According the New York Times, life expectancy for Cubans is 79 years, on par with the United States, despite the fact that its economy per person is eight times smaller. While many drugs and even anesthesia have been hard to come by over the years, Cuba has one of the best doctor to patient ratios in the world. Moreover, the Cuban government's investment in primary care for residents and preventative health measures like public education, housing and nutrition have paid huge dividends in the health of citizens, especially relative to similarly poor countries.
Yeah. Huge dividends. Etc.
I used to follow Babalu Blog fairly regularly, and they had information from recent escapees from Cuba about what the hospitals were like for average Cubans. 'Huge dividends.'
And this from a guy who likes Cuba and makes allowances:
By the time I moved to Cuba in 1997, there were serious shortages of medicine - from simple aspirin to more badly needed drugs.
Ironically, many medicines that cannot be found at a pharmacy are
easily bought on the black market. Some doctors, nurses and cleaning
staff smuggle the medicine out of the hospitals in a bid to make extra
Although medical attention remains free, many patients did and still
do bring their doctors food, money or other gifts to get to the front of
the queue or to guarantee an appointment for an X-ray, blood test or
If you do not have a contact or money to pay under the table, the
waiting time for all but emergency procedures can be ridiculously long.
Many Cubans complain that top-level government and Communist Party
officials have access to VIP health treatment, while ordinary people
must queue from dawn for a routine test, with no guarantee that the
allotted numbers will not run out before it is their turn.
I saw many hospitals where there was often no running water, the
toilets did not flush, and the risk of infections - by the hospital's
own admission - was extremely high. Two things he mentions I think need to be emphasized:
'After the subsidies from the Soviet Union ended', and 'all the trouble caused by the US embargo'.
So Cuba was/is so well-run that without subsidies it sinks. And somehow, even though(as we were told repeatedly) 'EVERYONE else in the world trades with Cuba!", it's somehow our fault their economy sucks. Right.
Bit more here.