Here’s a sentence buried in the amazing New York Times story last week recounting how a team of U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal seems to have caused a cholera epidemic in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake:
At first, Doctors Without Borders and the Cuban medical brigades, both self-financed, handled the overwhelming majority of cases.
What are “the Cuban medical brigades?” A Google search took me to a Wikipedia entry titled “Cuban Medical Internationalism,” which says that “Cuba provides more medical personnel to the developing world than all the G8 countries combined, although this comparison does not take into account G8 development aid spent on developing world healthcare It is widely believed that medical workers are Cuba’s most important export commodity.”
Cuba has long been known for making healthcare a priority and for exporting health workers. But with medical care such a hot topic in the United States, this story out of Cuba could be an eye-opener.
4. Is Mexico also ahead of us on health care?
Which reminds me: In the joint press conference last week held at the White House by President Obama with Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Calderón had this to say when asked about health care:
We’re getting close to reaching universal coverage of health care - full, free health care coverage for all people up to 18 years of age, including cancer coverage. Of the 112 million Mexicans, 106 million will have efficient, effective universal health care coverage.
Really? We know about Canada’s universal coverage, but is Mexico also ahead of the U.S. in providing health care to its citizens?