IND Chief Nurse response, Cuba
The best way nurses support the development of the profession is by creating a climate of cooperation, worthy and challenging workplaces, with interdisciplinary and ethical thinking.
The Cuban health system is recognized worldwide for its excellence and it efficiency. Despite the limited resources resulting from trade sanctions placed on the country since the 1960s, Cuba has managed to guarantee access to care for all segments of the population and obtain results related to health and wellbeing that are amongst the best in the world.
It has also sent more clinicians to low and middle income countries to support their health systems than any other country. For example, it was one of the earliest responders to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.
The success of the health system has been attributed to its preventative approach to care. Dr Idalmis G. Infante Ochoa, Cuba’s National Chief Nursing Officer, believes that nurses are responsible for much of the success of Cuba’s healthcare system. The nurses focus on personalised, comprehensive, quality care, with a rational use of human and technological resources, through an enabling organisational climate, according to standards defined for a competent and responsible professional practice.
The Cuban Government has been very supportive of the nursing profession and recognises their importance in decision making. Nurses are actively involved in policy development and decision making within the Ministry of Health. Nurse leaders are represented at national, provincial, municipal and institutional levels and their contribution has been decisive in the results of the health care system. The entire population of Cuba has 100% access to a nurse within their community both in rural and urban areas.
Nurses are responsible for:
- Education and regulation standards related to the profession
- Workforce planning
- Conducting and maintaining high quality research
- Design and development of models of care
- Developing multi-sectorial approach to the provision of care
Under the guidance of the Chief Nursing Officer, Cuba has implemented policies that support nurses in their professional development. They have developed clear pathways and incentives that support post graduate education at a Master’s and Doctoral levels in nursing and health. These nurses work within a multi-sectorial approach to care in close collaboration with other clinicians, secondary care providers, education institutions, researchers, welfare systems and other government agencies to provide a comprehensive approach to care of the individual and the community.
Columbia University School of Nursing (2016). “A Lesson in Cuban Health Care.” Retrieved 7 November, 2016, from http://nursing.columbia.edu/lesson-cuban-health-care
Lamrani, S. (2014). “Cuba’s Health Care System: a Model for the World.” Retrieved 7 November, 2016, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/salim-lamrani/cubas-health-care-system-_b_5649968.html
Latina, P. (2015). “World Health Organization describes Cuba’s health system as exemplary.” Retrieved 7 November, 2016, from http://en.granma.cu/mundo/2015-10-21/world-health-organization-describes-cubas-health-system-as-exemplary
World Health Organization (2016). “WHO: Countries.” Retrieved 1 November, 2016, from http://www.who.int/countries/en/