Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Spending cuts in health sector

It is necessary to cut spending in Cuba’s health sector too, Granma reports today, because “unnecessary spending hurts not only the country’s economy, but also an institution’s functioning and quality of care.” The article is a straightforward explanation of what appears to be a thorough re-evaluation of material and human resources in the sector, and to prepare the public for changes and consolidation of services.

There are emergency response units, the article explains, where 30 employees support the functioning of a single ambulance. There are eight municipalities in Havana province where an entire 30-employee administrative structure is duplicated – one in the municipal office of the ministry, the other in the nearby policlinico. And studies are under way to evaluate demand for services such as ultrasound and laboratories and to determine the optimal deployment of equipment and personnel.

Yesterday’s Granma also included a signed editorial on the imperative of cutting government spending. (AP story here.) “It is urgent for our society to adjust social spending to the real capacity of the economy, without paternalistic or romantic attitudes,” it said.

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