The doctor Miguel Angel Ruano Sánchez questioned the poor investment by the Cuban government in public health in the worst peak of the pandemic in the country and criticized the state’s secrecy regarding the availability of beds in intensive care units.
In the space The mornings of CiberCuba, the Cuban doctor said that the 0.8% investment in health During the first semester of 2021 it is evident in the “rusty furniture with a very high risk of infection” that corrodes the Cuban health system.
“The occupancy data for intensive care units (beds) has never been reported”, said the doctor, and warned that, consequently, of the number of intensive care units that Cuba has at this time, it is unknown which are the real ones that are destined for COVID-19.
For the physiatrist, this is a “Basic data to be able to know how a country is handling the pandemic, according to the World Health Organization“, Meanwhile, the occupation of beds in therapy” determines the situation at the hospital level and at the institution level, “in the face of the coronavirus confrontation.
Also, the number of bedridden in therapy and the availability of care in these specialized rooms to treat the complications of a lethal virus, is what allows to draw up mobility and containment policies such as the closing or opening of national borders, isolations and quarantines, to avoid the collapse of health services.
“The severity and management of the situation is not determined by the number of cases [positivos a la COVID-19], because the number of cases may be high and be asymptomatic or it may be adequately managed in primary health care, and there is no need for an intensive care unit “said the doctor.
Nor does it matter that Cuba has 100,000 active doctors, with a ratio of nine doctors for every thousand inhabitants, as reported by the Minister of Health, Jose Angel Portal Miranda, in 2019.
The number of doctors, hospitals or equipment available is not an adequate way to measure the management of the epidemic or effective access to the necessary care in times of pandemic, especially because the real number of health personnel who are complying with state agreements is unknown. abroad.
One of the signs that there is low availability in therapy rooms is the number of patients who accumulate in emergency services because they fear being admitted to hospitals that lack resources and medicines to treat patients who, in turn, wait to feel hopelessly bad.
The deterioration of hospitals and health centers, in general, also indicates that the government has not allocated the necessary resources to provide minimum quality medical care.
“There has been no investment in terms of the number of intensive care units and, therefore, people have to stand in line at the level of the hospital emergency Guard Corps to be able to reach a bed in intensive care when they die or are given discharge someone “said the doctor.
A newspaper headline Granma assures that in July they allocated “more beds to intensive therapies in Matanzas”, without providing relevant details in terms of figures. What have been created are ambulatory centers in the open and, even in bus terminals and schools, now converted into COVID centers.
Faced with this situation, the doctor does not explain himself how 0.8% of economic resources can be allocated to invest in health, at the most critical moment in the sector, and stressed that the country must prioritize medicine, oxygen, antibiotics, intensive care beds, mechanical ventilation.
According to the economist Pedro Monreal, “The accumulated investment data in Cuba from January to June 2021 indicate that investment in ‘business services, real estate and rental activities’ was 56.8 times greater than investment in health”.
“Does anyone really know how many ventilators they have in intensive care? Nobody knows that and, nevertheless, in the whole world it is the first information that was given. For example, Cali, in Colombia, had 200 fans before the pandemic started; today it has 1,500, “he said.
An article from the BBC stated in 2020 that “Cuba, Argentina and Uruguay exceed the global average of hospital beds of 27 per 10,000 inhabitants”, however, what is truly useful is knowing how many of them are in intensive care.
According to statistics from the ONEI (2019), the country has 44,214 beds for medical care, of which 36,500 are in hospitals. Cuba’s statistics office does not report the number of beds available in intensive care units.