Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial led the Philippine delegation in the official visit to Havana, Cuba last August 23-26, 2016 to learn about Cuba’s popular health system and have a fruitful exchange of information with health authorities.
This special visit was strongly endorsed by President Duterte who was impressed with Cuba’s successes in public health. The World Health Organization (WHO) facilitated the official visit following President Duterte’s pronouncements. The team had the opportunity to visit health care and training institutions while in Cuba and met with Cuban health officials.
On August 25, 2016 the group visited the Escuela Latino Americana de Medicina (ELAM), an institution that has trained more than 27,000 doctors from various countries including Philippines. Three (3) Filipino medical students had the chance to meet Secretary. The members of the visiting delegation studied information concerning preparation and response to emergencies from the Unidad Central de Cooperacion Medicina (Central Unit of Medical Cooperation). This training institution has deployed 45,893 doctors in 86 countries to respond to emergencies and disaster since 1984.
Secretary Ubial praised the Cuban health system and expressed her interest in holding further exchanges in this field. She noted that the Cuban Medical Cooperation which was present since 1960 is very beneficial, not only for the countries where Cuba has sent its professionals, but also for Cuba itself, since it has stirred the nation to develop an even stronger health system.
The visit was completed after visiting to several health centers. The Philippine delegation held an exit meeting with Dr. Roberto Morales, head of the Ministry of the Public Health, and with other officials of the health ministry of Cuba, with whom Sec. Ubial discussed health issues of bilateral interest.
“From studying the universal system implemented in Cuba, we are confident that the dream of achieving Universal Health Care in the Philippines can likewise become a reality. We hope that our country will benefit from the Cuban medical cooperation in attaining All for Health towards Health for All!” Secretary Ubial concluded.