Students should learn from Cuba
- By: Judith Harvey, Pedro Ordunez
We are working to develop Cuba as a destination for medical electives,1 designing a programme to match the learning needs of UK students with the potential of the Cuban health education system. There is little students can learn in rural Zambia about effective organisation of health services. But in Cuba they would recognise much that resembles the NHS, while bringing home, along with their snapshots, a sharp perspective of the differences in approach to medical provision.
Medical students who visit Cuba can see how much a poor country can do for the health of its citizens with a small budget and a different approach. Cuba will challenge the assumptions of elective students from rich countries about the role of the state and the balance between the individual and the community.
The UK academic system should consider the opportunities Cuba offers as a destination for electives because it provides a high