WHY CUBANS PREFER SANTERIA YERBATEROS TO FAMILY MEDICINE
Do the Cubans opt for Santeria and Yerbateros who are unprofessional physicians because the official health sector in Cuba is incompetent?
The island of Cuba is a socialist nation that believes in bringing people together in many ways. One of the strategies the Cuban government has used is family medicine where between 120 and 150 families are treated by a family doctor who is found in the neighborhood and is always available for the patients. It is a puzzle that even with doctors who work closely with their patients most Cubans would prefer to use unprofessional physicians (Yerbateros) who use medicinal plants and Santeria. The main reason most Cubans prefer not to be attended by the family physicians is because they are politically influenced, and their primary duty is to protect the interest of the leaders and not the patients’ needs. The second reason that has affected family medicine is the economic ban placed on Cuba by the US in the year 1961 which led to the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1980s.1 The US embargo negatively impacted the Cuban formal health sector, and the citizens started to use alternative ways such as Santeria and informal physicians who use medicinal plants to address their health problems rather than depend on family medicine.
Cuba has undergone so much transformation after the Soviet Union collapsed and the US ban on trade with Cuba and political influence has signi…
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