Cuba walks the walk in global healthcare

June 21, 2008

More than 160 people were captivated by new film about health care in Cuba, Salud, which was screened by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society on June 14.

Highlighting the incredible contribution that Cuba has made to international health care, Salud provides some dazzling statistics. At present, despite being a relatively poor country, 28,000 Cuban health professionals are serving in 68 countries. Around 30,000 students in health care from around the globe are being trained free of charge in Cuba.

Salud argues that health care is a basic human right, but the wealthiest countries are not making this right a reality for their own populations, let alone assisting the poorer nations. Cuba, by providing free, universal health care to its own citizens and to so many other countries is a global leader.

Prior to the, film the packed theatre heard from Cuban Consul-General Nelida Hernandez Carmona. The consul-general marked the 80th anniversary of Ernesto "Che" Guevara's birth with an inspiring speech highlighting the importance of Che's contribution to the Cuban Revolution and the ongoing inspiration he provides decades after his murder.

Australian academic and activist Tim Anderson explained the contribution Cuba has made to health care in the Asia Pacific region, which, with more doctors in East Timor than Australia, is putting our wealthy country to shame.

Anderson has produced a film called Doctors of Tomorrow, which highlights the medical collaboration between Cuba and East Timor. More information on Salud is available at

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