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Cuban Hospitals Begin Telling Patients There Is No Such Thing as Free Healthcare

By: Karina Martín - Mar 20, 2017, 3:18 pm
Cuban hospitals have begun to issue "symbolic" bills to their patients (
Cuban hospitals have begun to issue “symbolic” bills to their patients (Cubanet).

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A report from Cuban television noted that Cuban medical institutions have begun to provide their patients with symbolic bills with the actual cost of services rendered.

Miosotis Moreno, director of Economics and Planning at the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) clarified that the health services will not start actually charging their patients, but the account is “symbolic”.

“It is not the intention that the services will be charged … It is only so that the people feel the commitment with the services that we are offering today, how we do it, what the cost is to the Ministry of Public Health and the country,” the official said.

According to the National Television News, the bill seeks to help the Cuban people know “that the services in our health system are free [for users], but cost [the system].”

“Most Cubans were born with the Revolution and we never worry about how much a surgical operation costs, or a clinical analysis, or an ultrasound, not to mention many of the other medical services that the population receives,” said the program’s director in the report.

“This way it is convenient, it is educational, it is a better way to give recognition to what we have done … It allows institutions also to really see what we are investing, it forces us to be more aware of the costs, which for a long time has been something that has not been given the right importance,” said a professional interviewed in the report.

The report was aired on Saturday, March 18, during the Noticiero del Mediodía.

Cuba, under the tenure of Raul Castro, has pledged to continue with its socialist economic policies, but has begun to allow limited free market reforms.

Cuba is living in an age of uncertainty, in the wake of Fidel Castro’s recent death, and Donald Trump‘s election as president of the United States. Trump has vowed to take a hard line on the island’s Communist regime.

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

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