Havana, Cuba’s Soviet Health Care Model treats the vast majority of their citizens.
The Kansas City Dental Implant Society planned an excursion to Havana, Cuba, December 2004 to deliver oral health care products
in the form of toothpaste, toothbrushes and antibiotics.
I render emergency dental care in Kansas City.
This was my first trip to Havana and must admit it will long be remembered. The island country depends on tourism for 80% of it’s gross national product. Sugar cane no longer rules as their main source of revenue. Cuban music and dance will definitely catch your attention with a backdrop of fantastic sunsets and waves crashing over a 4 mile sea wall called the Malecon.
Havana is the capital city, major port, and leading commercial center
of Cuba. The city is one of the 14 Cuban provinces. The city province has 2.1 million inhabitants, the largest city in Cuba and the largest in the Caribbean region. The city extends mostly westward and southward from the bay, which is entered through a narrow inlet and which divides into three main harbours: Marimelena, Guanabacoa, and Atares. The sluggish Almendares River traverses the city from south to north, entering the Straits of Florida a few miles west of the bay.
King Phillip ll of Spain granted Havana the title of City in 1592 and a royal decree in 1634 recognized it’s importance by
officially designating it the “Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies.”
The sinking of the U.S. battleship Maine in Havana’s harbor in1898 was the immediate cause of the Spanish – American War.
Our evaluation of their health care delivery system revealed supply shortages of the very basics needed to treat daily maladies.
We saw firsthand skilled health care staff delivering care and doing the best with what was available to work with in a neighborhood dental clinic.
It was explained that the Soviet Union helped Cuba to implement a health care delivery system designed after it’s own
health care model. All Cuban citizens have access to basic health care.
I walked away from the clinic thinking about treatment of patients in my own private practice. To see others do so much
with so little will make you a stronger practitioner in your daily battle plan confronting emergency dental care.
Our patients in crisis require more treatment time and may drain your daily energy if you are not prepared to treat the total
patient. The patient in crisis may not be getting proper rest and nutrition. This will compromise their immune system.
Our rewards come when we are able to treat the total patient thus gaining increased energy levels. There is a real sense of
enjoyment and fulfillment in your health care practice when patients benefit from the services that you render, receiving quality health care.
The following strategy will help you treat the total patient:
1. Documentation of the patient in crisis existing condition.
2. Have a good medical and dental history.
3. Call the patient’s medical doctor for greater insight into the health history.
4. Keep the patient comfortable until out of crisis.
5. Support the immune system by treating the infection.
6. Protein supplements will help keep nutritional requirements in a good range.
7. Review medications for dental related treatment concerns.
By calling the patient’s physician you gain valuable insight as to the best avenue to treat your patient.
I will return to Cuba and continue learning life’s lessons so that I may better serve others.
Havana Cuba’s Soviet Health Care Model does work for the citizens of Cuba.
From the Diary of my enlightenment
Artis L. Clark, D.D.S. & Gail H. Clark http://dentist4you.biz
Background from Wikipedia