In efforts to have meaningful and effective health and social services, the new administration is off to emulate the best health and social practises that is available. In a laudable move, President Duterte is sending his secretaries and experts all over the world in studying, developing and implementing projects and programs that will benefit the Filipino people.

One of the most notable public healthcare systems can be found in Cuba. Notwithstanding the economic and political; embargoes since the late 1950s imposed on Cuba, that country has managed to evolve its healthcare system.

Newly minted Department of Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial will be sent to Cuba in order to study its healthcare and health welfare system so as to assimilate and craft a system that will be applicable to the Philippine context.

This is hoped top address the public health system wherein a considerable number of Filipinos die without even seeing the services of health professionals. President cited the experience of Philippine General Hospital physicians who had to provide money for patients to procure needed medicines.

Although the DOH has had its budget increased during the past administration, such additional projects and programs that the new thrust would entail will need additional funding. PAGCOR is one of the potential source of funds since its last declaration of P11,549,625,355.77 of total income can be a source of such funds.

“That’s why I’m sending Secretary Ubial to Cuba. So kung sinong gustong pumunta, that has something to do with human welfare, they have a good practice there and if you guys want to go there you can go, I will allow you,”, “They had perfected a welfare system for all na ba ka makopya natin (that we could copy),”  Duterte disclosed.

Cuba has been cited by the World Health Organization (WHO) for being efficient in its implementation of universal healthcare.

According to a case study titled “Cuban experience with local production of medicines, technology transfer and improving access to health”, which was published in 2015 by WHO,  enlisted the Cuban Government’s changes made in the health sector, which developed prevention of diseases.

“Health activities to fight infectious diseases were carried out nationwide, among them the national polio vaccination campaign; this activity, held annually since 1962, has eliminated polio in Cuba, an achievement officially recognized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the (WHO),” it cited

Since 1966, Cuba created  the first health science institutes in specialized hospitals and is a fully integrated national system. Also from the WHO, in the year 2015, Cuba was validated as  the first country that eliminated transmission of HIV and syphilis in mother to child transmission mode. Cuba posted a national life expectancy average for its citizens at 78.45 years.

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