Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Speaks With Doctors

FL1711031688 Havana Radio Rebelde Network in Spanish 0049 GMT 17 Nov 88

[Report by Mercedes Hernandez from Havana's Palace of Conventions during
"Exclusivo" program hosted by Daniel Torres--live]

[Text] [Hernandez] Greetings again from the Palace of Conventions.  This is
a big night for all the family doctors of our country.  Daniel, we were
privileged to hear several family doctors--who, by the way, are very
young--describe some moving experiences.  We have, for example, listened to
a doctor from the Escambray who has reduced the infant and maternal
mortality rate to zero where he is working.

Another doctor, who is working in a teacher training school, has achieved
very good results and has gained experiences of great value.

Now, our commander in chief is speaking with a specialist in general
integral medicine who works in a factory.  Let's listen.

[Castro] I previously explained that work in schools and factories is still
in the experimental stage.  When you were put there... [changes thought]
How long have you been there?

[Unidentified doctor] I have been there 1 year.

[Castro] You've been there for 1 year.  Were you sent there to find a place
for the clinic?

[Doctor] The clinic site was there because a doctor had already been there
for 2 years....

[Castro, interrupting] Was he a family doctor?

[Doctor] He was a family doctor, just like myself.

[Castro] Oh, he was the same as you.  You are there for 2 years?

[Doctor] Yes, I'm thee for 2 years.

[Castro] You could not specialize because you were there for 2 years?

[Doctor] No, during those 2 years we do not study a specialty.

[Castro] Of course, you face the same situation as the doctors in the
mountains.  They don't have the facilities that doctors in the city have.
At the end of their 1st year in the polyclinic, the city doctors begin
their studies.  That's why you have to rotate until the day when we have
enough specialists to send permanently.  That would be ideal.

Of course, we were discussing for some time what specialty the doctors in
the schools and factories should study.  We arrived at the conclusion that
it should be general integral medicine.

That's why we rotate.  There's no alternative to rotating so that you can
study.  But, perhaps at some point in the future, when we have specialists
in general medicine, that doctor can study an additional specialty.  A
specialty that's related to his permanent job in a factory or school.

Now, the doctor that preceded you already did his job there?

[Doctor] He did his job.

[Castro] You said that it was tough at first but someone ahead of you who
had a tougher job.

[Doctor] Yes.

[Castro] You've been improving what he achieved.

[Doctor] We've been improving.

[Castro] In a population of 800 workers [corrects himself] a collective of
800 workers, how many people, more or less, come to see you daily?  Not
because of accidents but because of general health reasons.

[Doctor] On a light day in the clinic.  I may see five or six workers.
Usually, I have 14 patients.  I do not have the figures...

[Castro, interrupting] They save themselves a trip to the polyclinic.

[Doctor] They do.

[Castro] Do they go there during the work period?  They go there if they
don't feel well or a problem comes up?

[Doctor] Yes, even the asthmatics.  In this season of [words indistinct]

[Hernandez] Daniel, they have announced that there will soon be a break and
then the meeting will resume.  All signs indicate that the meeting will
last several hours more.