Cuba’s health system works because it does one thing that other system’s don’t: It “fosters a holistic approach centered around on a relationship with a primary-care physician.”
The holistic approach doesn’t just assess your physical condition, but also your environment, stress level, mental condition, and how all of these factors play together. That goes a long way to helping people stay healthy, allows doctors to identify risks early, and take preventative measures accordingly.
As a poor country, Cuba can’t afford to equivocate and waste money on health care. Much advanced technology is unavailable. So the system is forced instead to keep people healthy. … It’s largely done, as the BBC has reported, through an innovative approach to primary care. Family doctors work in clinics and care for everyone in the surrounding neighborhood. At least once a year, the doctor knocks on your front door (or elsewhere, if you prefer) for a check-up. More than the standard American ritual of listening to your heart and lungs and asking if you’ve noticed any blood coming out of you abnormally, these check-ups involve extensive questions about jobs and social lives and environment—information that’s aided by being right there in a person’s home.
At the same time, completing a course in holistic health recently has had me realize how I’ve missed many ‘initial signs’ already, thinking that they are ‘normal’ or ‘incurable’. Some examples: Hard poop. Menstrual pains. Tiredness. Hair loss. Migraines. Joint inflammation. Sound familiar? Then maybe you should have a look at what a holistic health approach can offer to improve your wellbeing. The examples that I’ve mentioned are things that, with appropriate action and no significant additional costs, have either improved or completely disappeared in my life – much to my amazement.
While a holistic approach can’t solve all health problems, it certainly can improve quality of life, and I think that’s a message worth spreading. If you feel particularly spoken to, then do reach out – nothing could be more rewarding than to empower another person with the gift of their own improved health!