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Saturday June 25th 2022
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Ignorance Is Bliss, But It Can Also Kill You

enterprisesThe Cuban government’s health program is free to everyone with or without money.  You can be seen by the government Doctor X.  He is also another ignorant victim, after all.  There is no requirement regarding age, sex, or employment—you will be seen in the government facilities (commonly called public clinics).  If your problem is more serious, you can go to any hospital close to your community in which you live.  There are no charges of any kind, no matter what the nature of your illness or the treatment you receive.  However, you have to be able to sleep all night long in a long line in front of the door to these facilities.  Sometimes, that line forms at 1 am.  This is just to get an appointment, which is taking a ticket with a number on it.  You will then return to that same facility in a day or two in order to see the wonderful Doctor X.

Let’s say that this is a minor inconvenience to those who are very sick, sometimes with a fever.  During those cold nights, sometimes with rain, sleeping on a sidewalk, even though some people will bring blankets and pillows from home to ease their discomfort—but, after all, this is all for free.  The government lovers of this wonderful health program will say that this is a very small price to pay for all that you will get and receive from the government’s free health program.  Don’t you think so?

It’s good to mention that all the great professors at the Havana University and most of the faculty, especially the medical ones, all left Cuba at the beginning of the Revolution.  They have continually been abandoning their medical profession because of the miserable salary the government pays them and the lack of respect from their institution in which a taxi driver makes more in a day than a doctor makes in an entire month.  In this event, the most advanced students in the medical curricula became the replacements as the professors slowly left their precious and noble profession before the medical and health programs became free.

It is also good to understand that the Cuban government established a new international business by sending Cuban doctors all over the world.  The propaganda is that this is done for “humanitarian” reasons, but the reality is that they are sent for “dollars” reasons, because the government is paid for those doctors’ services, and indeed the individual physician sees only a very small fraction of any check they find themselves getting paid through this program.  As the communist government discovered how fabulously profitable this enterprise came to be, in its need for more doctors rapidly trained it cut the amount of time required for full training from eight years to four.  The university became a doctor factory, pumping out new physicians in order to meet the supply in the government’s “efforts” to help “humanity.”  What hypocrisy!   However, the communist propaganda continues to tell us that Cuban doctors are the best in the whole world.  While the Cuban government makes millions out of these half-trained doctors across the world, the Cuban people continue to receive the free health program.  It is said they should be grateful to the government, who is providing them the best doctors in the world, for free, doctors that are even better than the ones who graduate from the best universities in the USA.

Let’s go back to Cuba and say that there is very little medicine on the shelves of the pharmacies.  This is not because the government doesn’t care about its people; it is just because the reality is that the medicine in Cuba doesn’t produce any money.  There is absolutely no profit in buying medicines.  Since the owner of the free health care program is the government, they neglect purchasing any medicine or drugs that the Cuban people need to alleviate their pain and suffering during a sickness.  Of course, once more, the Cuban government brings the famous blockade by the gringos for this, even though they at the same time purchase exotic cars like Alfa Romeos from Italy and honey-baked hams from Spain for the elite in their diplomatic circles.  At the same time, the Cuban people with the free health program wait in those long lines just to get a ticket to see Doctor X, who was graduated in a rush.  Of course, this doesn’t affect his knowledge, since after all, he is a superior being, a product of the new communist society.  The Cuban people should be thankful for this great thing the Cuban government offers them.

The time comes after a few days of agony when Doctor X, that prodigious genius, finally sees you and diagnoses your problem.  This is not the end of the story—just the beginning of your nightmare.  There is no medication for your problem available.  Doctor X, as a loyal employee of the government under his strict orders, can only prescribe the medications available in the pharmacies at that moment.  If he does anything else, he can get into serious trouble from his employer.  X checks his list and discovers that in that particular month the only medicine available is aspirin.  The man the propaganda says is the greatest doctor, serving in the greatest program, has no medicine available for your problem.

Like a magician pulling a rabbit out of the hat, the socialist regime came up with a solution:  bottle that aspirin with an unusual name that no one will recognize and put it out under that name.  You, the patient, will not panic and die of a heart attack in the clinic or have a nervous breakdown from the frustration surrounding all this nonsense.  It would not be good for the Cuban government’s image, especially for the free health program that is now so famous across the globe.  After all, what else can you expect?  It’s for free.  Don’t be picky.  Don’t forget, if you protest, maybe you don’t need to see Doctor X after all.  You could be accused of being a reactionary or a counter-revolutionary, and executed as a traitor in front of a firing squad.

For those Cuban people who live in the Cuban government’s free health program, used at the beginning of the Revolution as part of their propaganda at the top of their long lists of services provided to everyone for free, this is not a joke—it’s a very sad reality.  They see their families die through this inefficient and horrendous system.  Unfortunately, these are the beautiful free things of socialism that naïve people believe and fall for, showing that sometimes ignorance can indeed be bliss.  But at the same time, that same ignorance can kill you in the end.  How do you like this free health system that I lived under for over ten years in my life?

If you don’t believe what I tell you today, vote in the next election for whatever Presidential candidate claims to be a socialist.  When he takes the power you give to him, and you’re under his boot, come back and read my experiences related in this blog again.  You will probably cry like a baby and want to take your gun (if they still allow you to have one as a “friend of the government”), put it to your head, and blow out your brains.  It will be the only option left to you.

Dr. Julio Antonio del Marmol