From all available reports, Hugo Chavez is in critical condition in a hospital in Cuba. The Venezuelan communist dictator was taken to Cuba several weeks ago for an emergency surgery regarding pelvic swelling, which has led many to speculate that he is dealing with prostate cancer.
In the irony of ironies, Hugo Chavez was faced with the decision to have to leave his own nation, and the health care system that was supposed to be an example for other nations, to receive care from another questionable health care system in Cuba.
Chavez, a believer that the state should control all industry, including medical services, could not receive the adequate treatment for his life threatening condition in his own nation. This could be because he does not trust any of the doctors in Venezuela with his life threatening condition, or, that there are no doctors left in his nation that are capable of undertaking such surgeries with good outcomes.
To receive adequate care, Chavez had to head to fellow communist nation Cuba, where such surgery could be administered. However, even in Cuba, it appears that he is receiving sub-par health care. This should be a “teachable” moment for all those who believe in centralized health care.
In Venezuela, the right to health care is guaranteed in their constitution. All citizens are given access to a “free” health care system, as Venezuelan Analysis reports. However, this system is terribly run, and hospitals are often overcrowded with people not receiving adequate care. In fact, Cuba sends doctors to Venezuela to help with the shortage that was created out of centralizing the medical system. Even more, the Cuban doctors that are sent to Venezuela defect in large numbers — including somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 doctors alone in 2006!
With Chavez being out of the public light since June 10, many are beginning to believe that the dictator may be gone for a long period of time as information on his condition remains murky. This has led to his brother, Adan Chavez, to issue a bizarre statement to Venezuelans that violence is not out of the question to preserve the Chavez regime.
Stating on Sunday that the Hugo Chavez followers may have to resort to violence, Adan Chavez said, “As authentic revolutionaries, we cannot forget other forms of fighting.” Chavez went on to quote the violent and ruthless communist leader Che Guevara, saying, “It would be inexcusable to limit ourselves to only the electoral and not see other forms of struggle, including the armed struggle.” These statements hardly make one believe that Hugo Chavez will pull through in strong health.
Setting threats of violence aside, the single payer health scam is brought to light through this episode.
If you are faced with having to flee Venezuela and go to Cuba for adequate health care, you’re health care system is in bad shape. As the Des Moines Register recently wrote of single-payer health systems, “A single-payer system sounds great if you don’t have all the facts. Persons from all over the world come here for care they can’t get in their countries. Any single-payer health system could discourage really talented people from going into medicine. We wouldn’t like mediocre health care.”
But in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez would have received mediocre care, and made the gamble that he would be better off in an undisclosed Cuban hospital, where he apparently is still receiving mediocre care. Single payer health systems are bad, and Hugo Chavez is now experiencing this first hand.