Friday, February 10, 2012

Blanca and Rodolfo: the other face of Cuba’s Health Care System

To the world, Cuba has one of the best Health Care systems, but that is not the world known by Blanca Rodriguez in the little town of “Las Tozas”, province of Sancti Spiritus. For Blanca, in her own words, she is “crossing the Niagara in a byke” - a very popular phrase in Cuba meaning she is living a nightmare.
And She is really living a nightmare. Her little old house is inhabited by her and her only son, Rodolfo Fernandez – depicted in the picture on top of this post. To make even worst, Rodolfo is a 50 years old oligophrenic, which technically is a type of mental retardation that is developmentally manifest, based upon structural defect and such as to render the individual socially incompetent.
In a few words: Rodolfo is retarded and in need of being 24/7 supervised. In any part of the word, this kind of person is hard to handle, in Cuba it is just a nightmare. Blanca Rodriguez could tell you.
Worsening all this situation, Blanca’s pension has been reduced to reach less than 200 pesos. In Cuba the currency rate between pesos and American dollars is 25 pesos for 1 dollar, it means Blanca is getting every month only 8 dollars to survive herself and Rodolfo.
On top of that, neither she nor Rodolfo are receiving any aid with medication and, for months, the government also suppressed the little help in adult diapers and bedclothes. At the same time, her maintenance in bathroom soap had been reduced to a half which means she need to buy that item by herself, a little but expensive item for her very little pension.
Could you get the whole picture?
She doesn’t have anybody else to help her, she is the hands of a government who has announced it has to reduce expenses... like Blanca’s little aid in soaps and diapers and bedclothes and medications.
“We are surviving with old rags (as diapers for Rodolfo) and any little help we receive from some generous people who never forget of us, but Rodolfo’s mattress is a shame” – Blanca says.
And she finishes telling: “Many months ago, after I made a complaint about my home, a few officials came to see me. They said they were surprised about my terrible situation and they guaranteed me with some help. I’m still waiting for their help.”
Now you can check how many foreign patients have been treated from Venezuela in “Las Praderas” or how many aid Cuba’s government had sent to Haiti and contrast those privileges with what Blanca Rodriguez is going through today. Is it fair?
Is this the best Health Care System in the world?
And there are many others Blanca Rodriguez throughout Cuba...