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Beyond Borders: International map of Cuban medical cooperation

Publisher MEMO Publishers
Published August 31, 2020
Digital 122 Pages
Language English
ISBN 978-1-907433-46-7

“The sun has spots. The ungrateful speak only of the spots. The grateful speak of light” José Martí

Before the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, on 1 January 1959, there were 6,250 doctors on the island; about half of them left the country after that date. In addition, more than 63.2% of those were located in Havana, where public hospitals, clinics and private health centres were accessible only to those who had the resources to access them and could pay for these services. Medical assistance hardly arrived in the countryside and more isolated parts. Public health from the first years of the Revolution became a priority for the Cuban State, who – from the beginning – understood it as a right of the people. The government works to create the infrastructure necessary to offer everyone the services free of charge.

They began to fight diseases, allocating a budget of 22,670,965 pesos to finance the health of the population. These figures have been increasing over time. In 2019, 10,662,200,000 pesos were allocated, and in 2020, 12,740,000,000 ($530 million). This represents 28% of the total budget and, together with that destined to education, makes up more than 50% of it. Both spheres complement each other in the Cuban health system (Portal, 2019). This year’s budget will allow the provision of more than 200 million medical consultations. It will also serve to guarantee the medical 10 THE CUBAN DOCTORS IN CUBA AND THE WORLD services provided in hospitals and institutes, as well as primary health care. This financial coverage will provide 1.4 million hospital admissions and the necessary medications (Portal, 2019). It is also important to take into account the expenses associated with the Covid-19 pandemic, a health emergency that has shaken the world and from which Cuba has been exempt, and has become a champion in its combat and in many other countries.

Edited by


Yoslán Silverio González

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Dr Sunamis Fabelo Concepción

Sunamis Fabelo Concepción holds a PhD in Historical Sciences(2018, Havana University). Masters in Contemporary History and International Relations (2011, Havana University). Degree in Philosophy (2007, Havana University). She is currently a researcher at the International Policy Research Cente (CIPI). Sunamis has conducted extensive research and consultancy on Eurasian Studies and political communication. She is the...

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About the Author


Laura Malagón Sotero

Laura Malagón Sotero has a Bachelor’s degree in History (2019) from the University of Havana (UH). Sotero is studying for a Master’s degree in Contemporary History and International Relations (UH) and works at the Africa and Middle East Group of the Research Centre for International Policy (CIPI), Havana, Cuba. She specialises in North African issues...

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Gleydis Sanamé Chavéz 

Gleydis Sanamé Chávez studied at the University of Havana and is an analyst at the Research Centre for International Policy (CIPI), Havana, Cuba.Gleydis Sanamé Chávez studied at the University of Havana and is an analyst at the Research Centre for International Policy (CIPI), Havana, Cuba. She is part of CIPI’s Africa and Middle East Group,...

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Mayra Barzaga García 

Mayra Barzaga García has a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Philosophy at the Higher Pedagogical Institute “Enrique José Varona”. Titular Teacher. She is dedicated to prospective research on the scenarios of the correlations of political forces in Latin America.  

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Orietta Hernández Bermúdez 

Orietta Hernández Bermúdez has a Master’s in International Relations (2015, Havana, Higher Institute of International Relations Raúl Roa (ISRI)). Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology (2007, Havana University). She is aggregate researcher and assistant profesor at the Centre for International Political Researcher (CIPI).Bermudez has researched social movements, political forces, migration and carried out communications studies. She has...

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Ángel RodrÍguez Soler 

Ángel RodrÍguez Soler, Bachelor’s Degree in History (2007, UH). Master’s in Contemporary History and International Relations (2011, UH). Professor at the Research Center on International Policy (CIPI). He has developed several investigations and consultancies on European studies and political communication and has authored numerous works related to these topics. Soler coordinates and teaches various undergraduate...

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