Tuesday, 4 January 2011

US discredited Jamaican-Cuba healthcare

WikiLeaks: US sought to discredit JA-Cuba eye care
Sources: Jamaica Observer and AP, 17 December 2010.

THE United States sought to discredit Cuban healthcare including eye care treatment given to Jamaican patients, which was criticised locally, revealed in leaked United States diplomatic cables obtained by the WikiLeaks website and published by The Guardian newspaper today [17 December 2010].

In the cables US diplomatic staff in Cuba are said to have looked for "human interest stories and other news that shatters the myth of Cuban medical prowess, which has become a key feature of the regime's foreign policy and its self-congratulatory propaganda."

Concerns expressed by Kingston Public Hospital [KPH] opthamologist, Dr Albert Lue, about the quality of treatment received by Jamaican patients in Cuba, were mentioned under the heading 'Medical Malpractice'.

"Dateline 31 May: Jamaican Dr. Albert Lue has publicly denounced Cuban medical incompetency in handling Jamaican patients who traveled to Cuba for eye surgery. Of 60 such patients he surveyed, 3 were left permanently blind and another 14 returned to Jamaica with permanent cornea damage," read a US cable addressed from the US Interests Section in Havana from 2006.

When contacted by the Observer this morning, Dr Lue was unable to comment since he was about to perform an operation at KPH.