Some Cubans choose dose of private medicine despite price
Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press Updated 1:32 am, Tuesday, July 4, 2017
HAVANA (AP) — For a dollar, Cuban podiatrist Serafin Barca will spend a
half hour cutting the corns off a senior citizen's foot, or nearly an
hour removing a stubborn wart.
The 80-year-old is among the last private medical workers in communist
Cuba, which prides itself on its free, universal state health care and
which has barred the creation of new private medical practices since
1963 — the year Barca graduated in his specialty after four years of study.
Barca is busy from morning until night treating patients frustrated with
the inefficiency of the state system. "The service is of higher
quality," Barca said. "If you get a patient and you don't treat them
well ... you don't get them back."
Some Cubans believe that allowing more private practices would improve
services and help ease the state's burden, allowing it to concentrate on
more complicated surgeries and treatments that require sophisticated
technology. A growing number of Cubans in recent years have begun to
complain about the quality of free medical services, which many say has
been affected by doctors leaving on international health missions or
moving to countries such as the U.S. in search of higher salaries and a
better quality of life.
Martha Garcia, a 72-year-old retiree, has been visiting Barca for her
foot problems for more than a decade.
Source: Some Cubans choose dose of private medicine despite price -