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Cuban Health Care: Utopian Dreams, Fragile Fugure

The Cuban health care system has been the focus of much international attention and debate while revealing jarring contrasts. Its medical missions in Haiti and other developing countries have generated good will toward the Castro government, even as humanitarian groups in North America and Europe organize shipments of medicines and equipment to Cuban clinics and hospitals plagued by shortages of the most basic supplies. More recently Cuban authorities have been closing medical facilities and making cutbacks in the heath budget, amid reported outbreaks of cholera and dengue fever. The Cuban health care system is facing more upheaval as the country looks to a post-Castro future and the changes this could entail.