An Ounce Of Prevention…
As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” What this means is that it is always, always easier to fight a disease when you discover it early, and both the easiest and cheapest way to deal with illness is to avoid getting ill in the first place.
The Cuban Model
After Castro overthrew Cuba’s previous dictator in 1959 and set up his own government, he made health care a major priority. However, Cuba was and still is a fairly poor country, which meant that even without a US embargo they weren’t about to get all the latest in medications, medical supplies, and equipment. As such, since curing deadly diseases wasn’t going to be easy, the Castro government doubled down on preventative care.
What this means is that Cuba has an extraordinary number of doctors: 8 per 1000 members of the general population as compared to the 2.5 per 1000 in the United States, and these doctors are constantly out performing mandatory annual physicals at the homes of their patients. They check on the health of entire families at once, and since they make house calls they can look around for environmental factors which may be health risks. They also have the power to schedule more frequent visits for someone who is sick or at risk of getting sick.
All this preventative care has an impact, too. Despite how Cuba only spends a fraction as much as the USA per person on health care, their average lifespan and infant mortality rate is closer to that of a fully industrialized nation than it is to its fellow Latin American states.
The Lessons To Learn
Of course, many Americans would also criticize the Cuban health system for being too invasive, both because it gives the doctors the power to schedule visits and because you must allow your physician inside your home whether you’re okay with that or not.
On the other hand, the Cuban model proves that a focus on preventative care can keep costs down for everyone involved even as it lets as many people as possible lead healthy, productive lives. While it’s highly unlikely that the United States will be copying the Cuban model anytime soon, you can do so as an individual by visiting your doctor at least once per year with as many follow-ups as he or she recommends.
However, it’s worth noting that even preventative care can involve long-term prescription medications, which is where the USA Rx pharmacy discount card comes in handy. Signing up is simple and free, and the steep discounts you’ll see on prescription medication in every major pharmacy chain and beyond may even beat the copays you get through your insurance. To get more information, try calling our toll-free number at 888-277-3911 or send us an email at [email protected].