Can Cuban Medicine Help Solve American Inequality?
Sam Loewenberg
29016

The Cuban model contrasts greatly, for sure, with those one might use to model medical care in the USA.

I recently holidayed in Cuba and rented a room (a B&B) in a house owned by two doctors (a epidemiologist and an ophthalmologist). I learned that my daily room rent was equal to each of their monthly salaries. We talked but a little about professional matters, but one conversation did provoke their comment that low pay was not motivating. Given the obvious shortage of foodstuffs and other consumer items, I surmise that Cuban medical professionals struggle to offset effects of shortages of medicines, other supplies, specialized training, and equipment.

The Cuban model might provide worthwhile lessons for care in America. I am not convinced, however, given the vastly different economic systems (Cuba is flat-ass broke, BTW, and, IMO, is a broken country.) that the Cuban model would effectively transfer to the developed world.

Current are clear technologically-based trends towards: individual genomic analysis; remote, unassisted (even automatic), health and physiological condition data capture; centralized, expert diagnosis; AI-assisted diagnosis and therapy determination, and individually-tailored medicines. Information technology is revolutionizing every information-based profession; medicine and health care are at the cusp of a profound revolution, too. The prospect is very real, IMO, that best-available diagnosis and therapy design are going to be available globally, cheaply, to any one having access to the Internet. Cuba might benefit from higher-paid doctors, but Cuba indubitably needs greater ‘Net access now.

My point: the role, and number required in any community, of doctors is going to change. The low-tech/”high-touch” Cuban model is going to become obsolete; the high-tech/low-touch model of the USA could become high tech/high-touch…if it can provide/motivate/afford the personal care exemplified the Cuban system described above.

That is where robots will enter the system.

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