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General Information about the Cuban National Health System
The Cuban National Health System answers directly to the Ministry of Public Health of Cuba (MINSAP), which is the responsible for directing, implementing and monitoring the implementation of the state policy regarding public health care. The Ministry covers the functions of health care, care for the elderly and disabled, hygienic control – epidemiology, staff training and the production and distribution of medicines. The costs that citizens borne are outpatient prescription drugs, hearing aids, orthopedic, stomatology as well as lenses, wheelchairs, crutches and similar items, though at subsidized prices by the state and the people that can not buy them receive extra help.
The Cuban National Health System and its Composition
The Cuban National Health System is one of the best of the world and it has a very well defined structure. Within the medical and health institutions it can be found 286 hospitals: 83 general, 18 gynecoobstetric, 18 maternal – infantile, 64 rural and 43 specialized. It also has 197 nursing homes, 67 houses for the elderly care (only by day), 38 homes for the handicapped, 289 maternity homes, 27 blood banks, 6 cardiocentres 10 coordinators for medical emergency centers, 1961pharmacies, 13 research institutes and 37 science and technology units. In 2003 the statistics showed a total of 80,528 beds (7.3 per 1,000 inhabitants), 66,263 medical assistance (6.0 per 1000 inhabitants), 14,265 social assistance (1.3 per 1000 inhabitants), 436 polyclinics, 122 emergency clinics, 14434family consults , 166 dental clinics, 91 intensive care units and 32 institutes and medical schools.
Some Statistics on the Cuban National Health System
The Cuban National Health System has health indicators compared with ones of first world countries such as Canada and Europe. The average life expectancy at birth is approximately 77.79 years. The infant mortality rate reached 4.8 per thousand live births. Mortality of children under 5 years is 8.0 per thousand live births. The maternal mortality rate is at 3.51 per thousand live births. Medical consultations are around 6.4 per inhabitant and the population served by the family doctor is 99.1%. In the work of human capital in the health field it stands a total of 447,023 health workers, which represent 13.2% of all workers in the country. Due to this there are one nurse for every 126 inhabitants, one doctor for 159 inhabitants, one dentist for every 1066 inhabitants. Within the Cuban national health system it is also necessary to highlight the presence of research centers, which allow investigation, prevention and the search for cures for various diseases.