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OBJECTIVES To rationalise the use of hospital emergency units, the Cuban health system developed from 1996 onwards an extra muros first line emergency system (FLES). We analyse the use of the FLES and its determinants, in order to develop proposals to channel inappropriate users to their family doctor. METHODS In the FLES of an urban (Cerro) and a rural(More)
In the first years after Cuba's 1959 revolution, the island's new government provided international medical assistance to countries affected by natural disasters or armed conflicts. Step by step, a more structural complementary program for international collaboration was put in place. The relief operations after Hurricane Mitch, which struck Central America(More)
This paper aims at augmenting the frameworks proposed by Rifkin in 1996 to distinguish between target-oriented and empowerment approaches to participation in community-based health interventions. In her paper, Rifkin defined three criteria: who makes decisions on resource allocation, expected outcome and outcome assessment. We propose five additional(More)
Cuba's exclusively public health system has been quite unique in pairing limited resources with excellent results. It continued to perform well during the economic crisis of the 1990s, and now that the hardships are being overcome, new opportunities are developing-as well as threats: (1) economic recovery should permit reinforcing of the system's(More)
For decades, two opposing logics have dominated the health policy debate: a comprehensive health care approach, with the 1978 Alma Ata Declaration as its cornerstone, and a private competition logic, emphasizing the role of the private sector. We present this debate and its influence on international health policies in the context of changing global(More)
Cuba's public health system is well known for its integrated first line services based on family medicine. Less publicized is the country's experience in public hospital management. After a harsh economic crisis in the first half of the 1990s had brought the Cienfuegos hospital near to collapse, from 1996 onwards the hospital management team took advantage(More)
The European Union claims that the defense of its welfare state is one of today's most important challenges. This article analyzes whether the European governments and the European Union really pursue a policy that strengthens their health and social security systems, or one that is in itself a threat to health and social security. After a summary of the(More)
Cuba has developed a programme of quality improvement of its health services, which includes an extramural emergency care system in which polyclinics and general practitioner networks play an important role. Using routine health information from the decentralised first line emergency units (FLES) and from the hospital emergency service (HES) for the period(More)