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Revolutionary Doctors: How Venezuela and Cuba Are Changing the World's Conception of Health Care Paperback – May 1, 2011
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About the Author
Steve Brouwer is the author of Robbing Us Blind: The Return of the Bush Gang; Sharing the Pie: A Citizen’s Guide to Wealth and Power in the United States; Exporting the American Gospel: Global Christian Fundamentalism (co-authored with Susan D. Rose); and Conquest and Capitalism, 1492-1992. He is also a carpenter and designer, and has organized worker-owned construction businesses and housing cooperatives. In 2007-2008, he lived in a rural village in the mountains of Venezuela and wrote about his campesino neighbors and the Bolivarian Revolution.
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Top Customer Reviews
So when I visited Cuba in 1978 and visited local neighborhood clinics spread evenly throughout the nation so that all citizens could have access to quality health care, I was impressed. How could a poor developing country be doing this while the rich neighbor to the North couldn't get its act together?!
I visited Cuba a couple of times during the 1990's "Special Period" when the fall of the Soviet Union had led to an economic crisis for a nation dependent on trade with the USSR and its former allies. While the structure of the health care system was still in tact, medicine was in short supply and many doctors were strapped for cash as they were paid in pesos in an economy where dollars were becoming the most stable currency (yes, in spite of the embargo). I remember crying at the state the medical system had fallen into. My hope died. . .
This summer, more than a decade later, I read Steve Brouwer's inspirational book, "Revolutionary Doctors" and my hope was renewed. By sharing in great detail with ample documentation, not only personal stories of what the Cuban doctors are doing at home but also in Venezuela where the author lived for several years, I was able to see that the vision has not died and that Cuba has rebounded and is not alone in developing universal health care for all.Read more ›
The Cuban/Venezuelan model of universal health care--even for people in remote, poor villages--calls for doctors who are willing to live for years at a time under primitive conditions without much income. Inspired by the vision and the example of Che Guevara--himself a doctor--the Cuban and Venezuelan doctors seem almost saintly in their desire to serve.
Steve Brouwer's calm tone and measured optimism speak to the underlying anxieties that we Americans, with our intensely individualistic system, have about more cooperative and communitarian ways of life. Brouwer tells a heartening story in which the stock of human goodness in the world is enlarged--but he tells it as an educational parable, backed up with facts and statistics. *Revolutionary Doctors* is thus not merely a book to entertain and to satisfy curiosity--it is a book to help readers to a more enlightened perspective on the practice of medicine. For those who fear that universal health care would be inferior, this book is reassuring, demonstrating that quality health care for all is an attainable goal.
In extending to the isolated rural poor the kinds of medical services that prosperous urbanites take for granted, Cuba and Venezuela are able to offer, not only better health, but a better way of life for all. Read this fine book to be inspired and moved by the remarkable story it tells and to challenge received notions about the distribution of medical resources and services.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This lady is terribly misinformed. I've lived in Vzla my whole life and this book is a bunch of BS. It may sound hopeful and nice to people living outside of Venezuela, but this... Read morePublished on February 21, 2014 by ELI A.
I have not read the book, yet I implore people to do their own research. I have been in maternity hospitals in Cuba and the conditions are precarious to say the least, thus that... Read morePublished on January 22, 2013 by User