Eyewitness report: Cuba’s scientists, medical workers advance fight vs. COVID

Gloria La Riva

People’s Dispatch | October 19, 2021

San Miguel del Padrón Pediatric Hospital: Head nurse, intensive care dept. Liliana Vaillant, nurse Marcia Marcial, nurse Yusliana Bustamante Hernandez, anesthesiologist Angel Labadid, Dr. Elizabeth González, head of the Intensive Care Dept. Photo: Gloria La Riva

After a serious rise in Cuba of illnesses and deaths from COVID-19 during the summer, there are encouraging developments with a steady recovery and downward curve in illnesses and deaths. Similar to the worldwide “third wave” of COVID, the delta variant quickly became the dominant mutation in Cuba and swept through the island.

Now, people are breathing a sigh of relief this month of October. Workplaces, restaurants, beaches and public spaces are opening up and tourism is soon to be welcomed on November 15. Of course, health experts still urge continued caution to avoid a new outbreak.

Massive vaccination of the population means that by November 15, an astounding 92% of the whole population will be fully vaccinated thanks to Cuba’s development and production of its own vaccines: Abdala, Mambisa and Soberana Plus. In fact, Cuba’s vaccination rate is the fastest in the world, and the only country whose children as young as two years are being covered.

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Healthcare Under Socialism: The History of the Soviet Healthcare System

POLITSTURM | September 07, 2021

Healthcare Under Socialism: The History of the Soviet Healthcare System

There are a lot of discussions on the healthcare systems today. Capitalist ideologists try their best to prove that the state healthcare system is too expensive and can not be implemented. But history proved them wrong. How did socialism change the approach to the management of healthcare?

As a result of the October Revolution of 1917, an entirely new state was created in place of the Russian Empire, establishing a proletarian dictatorship. For the first time in history, the country’s resources and means of production were in the hands of the majority of the population, rather than a narrow stratum of the nobility and bourgeoisie. It was a state with different principles of development and a unique communist ideology.

As far back as 1903, Vladimir Lenin outlined the objectives of the state in the sphere of health protection in the 1st Program of the RSDLP. It stressed the necessity of establishing an 8-hour working day, banning child labor, arrangement of crèches in factories, state insurance for workers, sanitary supervision in factories, etc.  But like any new country, Soviet Russia was faced with many problems in all spheres which had to be solved as effectively and promptly as possible. And one of the most serious problems was the lack of a healthcare system.

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Thinking outside the modern capitalist logic: health-care systems based in other world views

Erika Arteaga-Cruz & Juan Cuvi

The Lancet | Open Access | Published: October, 2021 | DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/S2214-109X(21)00341-7

Latin America is home to about 800 different Indigenous Peoples and Nationalities, the equivalent to 9·8% of its population. The average infant mortality rate in Indigenous children is 60% higher than that in non-Indigenous children.1 In 2018, Ecuador reported that 50·6% of its Indigenous population lived in poverty, compared with 20·9% of the non-Indigenous population.2 Between 2014 and 2017, maternal mortality was 69% higher in Indigenous than in Mestizo women.3 Chronic malnutrition affects one in four Ecuadorian children, and the rate doubles in Indigenous children.4
These figures evidence historical and structural inequalities. Despite discourses of modernisation and development, the old process of colonisation and subjugation of Indigenous Peoples continues. Violent appropriation of territory, forced displacement of peoples and communities, or depredation of their vital spaces for oil and mining are some facets of this domination.

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Bernie Sanders in the Time of the Pandemic

by Dennis Redmond.

GroundXero | March 22, 2020

The current pandemic is just a foretaste of the horrors we are unleashing on ourselves via climate catastrophe. The planetary fight to defeat Big Virus by delivering healthcare for all is just the opening act of the battle to defeat Big Carbon by delivering green electricity and green mobility to all, writes Dennis Redmond.

While the entire planet gears up to battle against COVID19, a disease which threatens the lives of up to 322 million human beings (4% of our planet’s population), it is worth reflecting for a moment on the world-historic impact of Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign in the United States Presidency. Far from being a failure, the Bernie campaign is one of the most remarkable success stories of the 21st century Left imaginable.

Back in 2019, Sanders and his team knew very well that their chances of wresting the Presidential nomination from the Democrats, a plutocrat-owned cash register masquerading as a political party, were minimal. Nor were American voters in an especially revolutionary mood. As late as last December, low-paid jobs were still plentiful in the US, and the two most powerful reactionary ideologies of contemporary America — debt-financed consumerism and imperial whiteness — were still credible to a significant plurality (although not an absolute majority) of US citizens.Read More »

Koch brothers behind the push to kill healthcare in U.S.


People’s World | June 27, 2017

Koch brothers behind the push to kill healthcare in U.S.

Union members in Los Angeles protest against Koch brothers /Damian Dovarganes/ AP

WASHINGTON — The Congressional Budget Office yesterday released a report saying that if the so-called “healthcare” bill now before the Senate becomes law, some 22 million people would be stripped of Medicaid benefits.

This number is not high enough to satisfy Charles and David Koch, the billionaire oil magnates.

They are now using the power and money of Americans For Prosperity (AFP), and the Freedom Partners network, to pressure Senators into ending Medicaid altogether and using the money that’s saved to give tax breaks to the richest people in the country; people like themselves.Read More »

‘Healthcare is a Right’: Bernie Sanders Finds Common Ground in Trump Country

by Nika Knight, staff writer

Common Dreams | 14 March, 2017

Bernie Sanders discusses the decline of coal jobs with a coal miner at Sunday’s town hall in McDowell County, West Virginia. (Screenshot: MSNBC)

In a town hall in rural McDowell County, West Virginia, on Sunday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) told a crowd filled with supporters of President Donald Trump that “healthcare is a right”—and was met with cheers.

The town hall was broadcast Monday on MSNBC‘s “All In With Chris Hayes,” and featured discussion on a range of topics: jobs, infrastructure, healthcare, and the opioid crisis, among others.

The warm reception to Sanders’ views—that climate change is real, that universal healthcare is a right, and that free higher education is necessary, among others—demonstrated that residents of this county that voted 75 percent for Trump support far more progressive policies than those touted by the president.

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Why is the U.S. Big Pharma lobby Sponsoring a Conference on the Future of Health Care in Canada?

by Michael Butler

Council of Canadians | 29 September, 2016

Over the past two days a major health care summit has occurred in Ottawa at the Chateau Laurier Hotel. The summit, titled “A New Health Accord for All Canadians,” is a partnership between the Canada 2020 think tank and the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). This summit featured variety of stakeholders and speakers including senator Chantal Peticlerc, Dr. Granger Avery the president of the CMA, Dr. Gaétan Barrette the Quebec Minister of Health and Social Services, and Dr. Jane Philpott Canada’s Minister of Health. This summit comes at a pivotal point in the history of medicare with a new health accord being negotiated in coming months and an urgent need for national pharmacare (among many pressing topics).

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MediCuba: an efficient and prosperous socialist enterprise


Granma | 08 June, 2016

The MediCuba office is located on 2nd Street, No. 352, between 15th and 17th Streets, Vedado, Havana. Photo:Anabel Díaz

The wise decision to establish the socialist state enterprise, MediCuba, in December, 1962, responded to the need to provide supplies including medicines, equipment and new technology for the Cuban public health system.

Today, this state enterprise with purely national capital, is working to establish policies regarding the management of imports, in accordance with the aspiration to gradually introduce higher profile providers that can respond to the requirements of the national economy.Read More »