Photographic book

Ministry of Public Health


President of Cuba
President of Cuba

Cuba has one of the more successful health care programs in the developing world. Health care is state-operated through the Ministry of Public Health and is available free, or at nominal cost, to the entire population. The availability of hospital beds and physicians has greatly increased since the 1960s, when most physicians left the country, and infant mortality and mortality rates overall have declined. Social security (old age, disability, and survivor pensions, and other monetary benefits) covers the vast majority of the labour force.

Government controls


The government controls (and rations) the distribution and pricing of foodstuffs, medicines, and other goods, although there are some independently operated markets (especially farmers’ markets) and state-operated stores where merchandise can be obtained using hard currency. Homes for the aged (nursing homes) are under the direction of the Ministry of Public Health, but the círculos infantiles, institutions for the day care of children under seven years of age, are run by the Federation of Cuban Women. The institutions are intended to free women to work. Physical education and sports, under a national body, are an integral part of Cuban education.

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