As health care concerns grow in the U.S., medical anthropologist Linda M. Whiteford and social psychologist Larry G. Branch present their findings on a health care anomaly, from an unlikely source. Primary Health Care in Cuba examines the highly successful model of primary health care in Cuba following the 1959 Cuban Revolution. This model, developed during a time of dramatic social and political change, created a preventive care system to better provide equity access to health care. Cuba's recognition as a paragon of health care has earned praise from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Pan American Health Organization. In this book, Whiteford and Branch explore the successes of Cuba's preventive primary health care system and its contribution to global health.
Linda M. Whiteford and Laurence G. Branch have produced an important, detailed, and historically grounded analysis of 'Cuba's jewel'-the community-based primary health care system. They examine its evolution, structure, and effectiveness in addressing public health issues, as well as specific medical needs related to child and maternal health, control of infectious diseases, and treatment of chronic health problems. The key lessons that the authors distill from this timely case study are both relevant and applicable to health care systems in other countries, including the United States. The subject matter and straightforward prose ensure that this book will be an invaluable tool for policy makers, public health and biomedical professionals, social scientists, and well-suited for widespread classroom use. -- Barbara Rylko-Bauer, Michigan State University, and co-editor of Making Our Research Useful: Case Studies in the Utilization of Anthropological Knowl Primary Health Care in Cuba: The Other Revolution is a unique contribution to understanding the relationship between the development and provision of primary care in a socio-economic and political context. While the authors are careful to note that the 'Cuban model is idiosyncratically Cuban,' this historically grounded, in-depth, and broad-based examination of primary health care in Cuba demonstrates that effective preventive care does not need to rest on costly medical technology. It also demonstrates the importance of close collaboration between government and community participation in planning and implementing public health initiatives. The final section is invaluable, laying out several 'lessons learned' from the research and from the Cuban health care model which hopefully will stimulate a reconsideration of standard practices in public health planning and implementation in other countries. -- Linda Bennett, professor of anthropology at University of Memphis and author of Moonshine: Anthropological Perspectives This is a groundbreaking work. Primary Health Care In Cuba makes a significant contribution to medical anthropology and public health by documenting the history, political economy, and ideology that has produced the Cuban primary health care system. The authors explore the critical tensions between the rights of individuals and the role of the state that have shaped the remarkable successes in Cuban health care over the past fifty years. They also raise challenging questions about the relationship between the reduction of health disparities and advances in public health. -- Carolyn Sargent, professor of anthropology at Southern Methodist University and president of the Society for Medical Anthropology