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Where No Doctor Has Gone Before - Cuba’s Place in the Global Health Landscape

Where No Doctor Has Gone Before

Cuba’s Place in the Global Health Landscape

By Robert Huish
Subjects Medical, Globalization, Development Studies
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Paperback : 9781554588336, 222 pages, January 2013

Table of contents

Table of Contents for
Where No Doctor Has Gone Before: Cuba's Place in the Global Health Landscape, by Robert Huish



List of Acronyms

A Note on Sources


1. Against the Garden Path That Justifies Health Inequity: Making the Case for Health Care as a Human Right

2. Sewing the Seeds of Health as a Right: The Origins of Health Care in Cuba

3. Growing Alternatives through Foreign Policy: Foreign Policy and Perspectives on International Health

4. The New Doctor Blooms: The Ethics of Medical Education

5. The Blossom of Cooperation: Cuban Medical Internationalism through ELAM in Ecuador

6. The Fruit of Solidarity: How to Maintain Hope for Global Health






Tens of thousands of people around the world die each day from causes that could have been prevented with access to affordable health care resources. In an era of unprecedented global inequity, Cuba, a small, low-income country, is making a difference by providing affordable health care to millions of marginalized people.

Cuba has developed a world-class health care system that provides universal access to its own citizens while committing to one of the most extensive international health outreach campaigns in the world. The country has trained thousands of foreign medical students for free under a moral agreement that they serve desperate communities. To date, over 110,000 Cuban health care workers have served overseas.

Where No Doctor Has Gone Before looks at the dynamics of Cuban medical internationalism to understand the impact of Cuba’s programs within the global health landscape. Topics addressed include the growing moral divide in equitable access to health care services, with a focus on medical tourism and Cuba’s alternative approach to this growing trend. Also discussed is the hidden curriculum in mainstream medical education that encourages graduates to seek lucrative positions rather than commit to service for the marginalized. The author shows how Cuba’s Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina (ELAM) serves as a counter to this trend.

An acknowledgement of Cuba’s tremendous commitment, the book reveals a compelling model of global health practice that not only meets the needs of the marginalized but facilitates an international culture of cooperation and solidarity.


``A strong addition to health care politics collections, much recommended.''

- Midwest Book Review, March 2013

``Robert Huish's Where No Doctor Has Gone Before: Cuba's Place in the Global Health Landscape is a powerful broadside against the enormous international inequities in access to health care, not just ignored but furthered by wealthy countries.... It is an astonishing idea that a country with the population of Ontario and an economy less than one sixth of Ontario's should provide such an outsized share of all international medical aid. The idea gets as little attention as it does largely because of the influence of the Cuban exile community in the swing state of Florida, and the consequent debt of all recent American presidents, hawks and doves, to the Florida voter. Hence the never-ending embargo.... [T]he central point of this fine work is crucially important: in a time of unprecedented disparity in global health outcomes, and while the International Monetary Fund insists on curtailing public health spending as one of the first steps in its oft-prescribed austerity measures, it is in the interest of countries that can help to help. The people who see this the clearest, are inevitably, the ones who are closest to that place of needing help. As it is with countries, so it is with individuals.''

- Kevin Patterson, Literary Review of Canada, June 2013

``This excellent book gives us an immediate view and understanding of Cuba's commitment to and participation in medical internationalism. This small country has thousands of doctors around the world committed to the provision of health care. Its School of Latin American Medicine, opened in 1999, has taught medicine tuition-free to students from over 116 countries and graduated more than 12,000. Today, most of those graduates are back in their home countries working with the poor, often in areas that had seldom seen doctors. This is an endeavor, in short, from which even the U.S. might learn from Cuba's example.''

- Wayne S. Smith, Senior Fellow, Center for International Policy and Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins University