Tag Archives: healthcare

British tourist denied ‘last goodbye’ with dead wife in £20k Cuba medical bill row

Sheila Dumbleton with husband Ray
Sheila Dumbleton with husband Ray

Birmingham Mail

En español Marti Noticias

Widower talks for first time of ‘hell’ at losing Sheila Dumbleton during dream holiday on paradise isle

A grief-stricken pensioner said his wife was “left to die” in a Cuban hospital – because they could not pay a £20,000 medical bill.

Ray Dumbleton said he was even banned from saying a last goodbye to his beloved Sheila, his soulmate of 34 years, as her body lay alone .

The 67-year-old, from Frankley , said his ordeal was like “hell on Earth”.

He said: “If you think of a World War Two scene, then that might just start to come close.”

Sheila died in hospital in Holguin, Cuba, after falling ill on the sixth day of what had been planned as the couple’s ‘dream holiday’.

Despite taking out ‘gold cover’ travel insurance, she was unable to claim for her medical treatment and was left with a £20,000 medical bill.

Now, her distraught family have been ordered to settle her medical bill to pay and must also find an extra £7,000 to bring Sheila’s body home.

“It felt that, as soon as the hospital knew we couldn’t pay, they left her to deteriorate,” Ray said.

“All the doctors kept saying to us was ‘payment, payment’ but we didn’t have the money to give them.

“The conditions in that hospital were horrendous – something I find hard to put into words. There were dead bodies left uncovered. It was as if they didn’t care about people’s dignity. They wouldn’t even allow me to see my wife’s body and pay my last respects to her. They just kept saying it was Cuban law. I will never get that chance again. They have broken my heart, I kept saying: ‘Forget Cuban law, I want to see my wife’. But they would not allow me that last moment with her. I felt powerless over there. At one point they even threatened to put me into prison if I carried on demanding to see her. As soon as Sheila died, it felt like they couldn’t get me out of the country quickly enough. It was like nothing I had ever seen before – I was treated like a VIP, ushered straight through customs and there were no security checks. Now, I am glad to be back home but I will cannot rest until Sheila is back here with her family. The only saving grace was that I did meet some lovely people out there and without them, I probably would not have got through this ordeal.”

A spokesman for White Horse Insurance Ireland, with whom the couple had travel insurance, said: “We were very sorry to hear of Mrs Dumbleton’s circumstances. Regrettably, as Mrs Dumbleton’s medical history was not disclosed, her claim was not covered by her insurance policy.”

Relatives launched a fundraising drive when they discovered Sheila had fallen ill and would be unable to claim on her insurance.

A GoFund me campaign was launched to pay the medical bill and bring her home alive – but she died before the target could be reached.

“We have raised more than £4,000 already, so if it’s just the £7,000 then we could probably do it,” said daughter Erica McCleary.

“But we still don’t know if they will allow us to bring Mum home without paying the medical bill. I cannot begin to say how generous and kind people have been after reading about our story. We have had complete strangers offering us large amounts of money. One person even offered us their life savings just so that we can get Mum’s body home. We just want Mum home with us so we are able to grieve properly, as a family. It’s good to finally have Ray home with us after him being stuck out there for a month but we need to be allowed to grieve properly. This whole process has been a nightmare and it’s still not over. We managed to go out and see Mum when she first fell ill but we were not allowed much time with her. and we didn’t really feel like she was being cared for properly.”

Sheila became a great-grandmother while she was in Cuba but never got to meet her first great grandchild.

Cuba’s Healthcare Scam

The Lab Believe it or not, this is the Laboratory! Gracias Fidel!
The Blaze, by Humberto Fontova

“Cuba has made significant contributions to health and science,” recently declared Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell.

The occasion was the signing of a “memorandum of understanding to encourage cooperation between the two countries on health matters to build on each other’s knowledge and experience, and benefit biomedical research and public health at large.”

Tell it to Tuvalu, President Barack Obama and Secretary Burwell. Tuvalu is a group of Pacific islands north of Fiji formerly belonging to Britain when known as the “Ellice Islands.” The natives seem like perfectly charming people.

But despite its charm, Tuvalu is not known as a particularly advanced place scientifically-speaking–and yet its natives recently gasped while witnessing the medical practices of a place even more primitive in its medical practices: Cuba.

“Cuba’s contribution to medical education in the region has been welcomed by many Pacific countries,” according to a recent story from Radio Australia (the Aussie version of NPR, hence liberal in outlook.) “But some are finding that doctors who’ve studied in Cuba need extra training when they return home. Tuvalu finds Cuban-trained doctors need skills gap filled.”

Back in 2008, you see, Tuvalu fell for the Castro-regime/United Nations/mainstream media propaganda mantra about Cuba’s “free and fabulous healthcare” and eagerly sent 22 promising Tuvaluan students to medical school in Cuba.

But upon their return with those medical degrees, as Radio Australia explains:

“the [Tuvaluan] government is concerned about their level of practical training … So the Education Department is planning to send returning [from Cuba] Tuvalu doctors to Kiribati [a nearby primitive island] for a special internship, as the department’s pre-service training officer Atabi Ewekia explains.”

In brief, the incompetence of Cuba-trained doctors is such that they will be essentially “de-programmed” in a medical school where, a mere two generations ago, medicine was probably the province of witch-doctors with bones through their noses.

And, thanks to Obama, the U.S. taxpayer will soon pay for the Cuban trainers of those Cuban doctors who so desperately needed de-programming to share their “significant contributions to health and science” with U.S. health professionals and researchers.

Unbeknownst to most Americans, pre-Castro Cuba boasted the 13th lowest infant-mortality on earth –ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal.

Castro’s Cuba, on the other hand, is ravaged by diseases long-eradicated in Cuba (Dengue, Cholera) and of her “doctors” fortunate enough to escape, the overwhelmingly majority flunk the exam given in the U.S. for licensing as doctor’s assistants.”

So let’s have a closer look at one of the U.S. media’s favorite veritable “go-to-people” on Cuban healthcare (besides Michael Moore) Gail Reed. The Huffington Post proudly carries her as a contributor and recently quoted her on the very issue at hand:

“This [the HHS-Cuba deal] is a win-win for Americans and Cubans! We’re now one step closer to a safer, healthier future for people in both countries.”

Huffington Post describes Gail Reed as “Founder of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, a U.S. non-profit promoting cooperation among the U.S., Cuban and global health communities, where she is currently Research Director.”

Sounds pretty innocuous, no?

But for the past 35 years Havana resident Gail Reed has also been married to an officer of Cuba’s Directorio General de Intelligencia (spy service) named Julian Torres Rizo.

This KGB-trained apparatchik recruited Reed back in 1969 when she visited Cuba as a member of the (DGI-created) Venceremos Brigades of “starry-eyed” U.S. college kids. Obama’s future “neighbors” Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, by the way, served as recruiters for these Venceremos Brigades. This was an important function for the famous couple as leaders of the terrorist Weather Underground.

Not that any American viewers imbibing her reports on the marvels of Cuba’s healthcare and the wickedness of the U.S. “blockade” of her adopted country in those “mainstream” media organs might have guessed any of Gail Reed’s background.

Cuba’s Healthcare System Is A Shambles, Why Are We Partnering With Them?

F b3

The Daily Caller, by Humberto Fontova

Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services signed a healthcare cooperation deal with Castro-regime because: “Cuba has made significant contributions to health and science.”

Or so HHS secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said on Monday in a statement. “This new collaboration is a historic opportunity for two nations to build on each other’s knowledge and experience, and benefit biomedical research and public health at large,” she added.

Tell that to Tuvalu, President Obama and Secretary Mathews-Burwell. Tuvalu is a group of Pacific islands (big atolls, actually) north of Fiji and east of New Guinea formerly belonging to Britain, when they were known as the “Ellice Islands.” Tuvalu is not known as a particularly advanced place scientifically-speaking — and yet its natives recently gasped while witnessing the medical practices of a place even more primitive in its medical practices: Cuba.

“Cuba’s contribution to medical education in the region has been welcomed by many Pacific countries,” according to a recent story from Radio Australia (the Aussie version of NPR, hence pinko in outlook). “But some are finding that doctors who’ve studied in Cuba need extra training when they return home.”

Back in 2008, Tuvalu fell for Castro-regime/United Nations/Mainstream Media propaganda mantra about Cuba’s free and fabulous healthcare and eagerly sent 22 promising Tuvaluan students to medical school in Cuba.

But upon their return with those medical degrees—whoops! Radio Australia explains the problem:

“The (Tuvaluan) government is concerned about their level of practical training … So the Education Department is planning to send the returning (from Cuba) Tuvalu doctors to Kiribati (a nearby primitive island) for a special internship, as the department’s pre-service training officer Atabi Ewekia explains.”

In brief, the incompetence of Cuba-trained doctors is such that they will be essentially “de-programmed” in a medical school where two generations ago medicine was probably the province of witch-doctors with bones through their noses.

Now thanks to Obama, the U.S. taxpayer will pay for the Cuban trainers of those Cuban doctors who so desperately needed de-programming to share their “significant contributions to health and science” with U.S. health professionals and researchers.

Two generations ago, by the way, Cuban doctors were among the most respected on earth — and not by political hacks, pompous frauds and communist agents (i.e. mainstream media) as are Cuban doctors today.

In 1958 Cuba had the 13th lowest infant-mortality on earth –– ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Israel, Japan, Austria, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Castro’s Cuba, on the other hand, is ravaged by diseases long-eradicated in Cuba (Dengue, Cholera) and of her “doctors” fortunate enough to escape the overwhelmingly majority flunk the exam given in the U.S. for licensing as doctor’s assistants.

The U.S. media’s veritable “go-to-person” on Cuban healthcare (besides Michael Moore) is Gail Reed. The Huffington Post proudly carries Reed as a contributor and recently quoted her on the very issue at hand:

“This (the HHS-Cuba deal) is a win-win for Americans and Cubans!” gushes Reed. “We’re now one step closer to a safer, healthier future for people in both countries.” The Huffpo describes Gail Reed as: “Founder of Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba, a U.S. non-profit promoting cooperation among the U.S., Cuban and global health communities, where she is currently Research Director.”

CNN, another media fan of Gail Reed’s “impartial expertise,” calls her “a Medical Expert.”

Over at MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell, who often interviews Reed, describes her as: “international director of the nonprofit group Medical Education Cooperation.”

All true. But for the past 34 years Havana resident Gail Reed has also been married to an officer of Cuba’s KGB-founded-funded and mentored Directorio General de Intelligencia named Julian Torres Rizo. The partnership of this future Huffington Post, CNN, NBC and Business Week correspondent with Castro’s secret police began in 1969 when as a member of the (DGI-created) Venceremos Brigades, Reed began visiting Cuba alongside Bill Ayers’ concubine Bernadine Dohrn.

 

Warning to tourists: Don’t get sick in Cuba

Barb Johnston, 54, from Oak Lake, Man., died on Dec. 29, 2015
Barb Johnston, 54, from Oak Lake, Man., died on Dec. 29, 2015

En Español Martí Noticias

Manitoba woman dies of mystery illness after trip to Cuba

CBC News

Family of Barb Johnston, 54, warns Canadian travelers to have emergency plan.
The family of a Manitoba woman who got sick in Cuba and died a day after getting back to Canada is warning travelers to be prepared for every emergency.

Barb Johnston, 54, of Oak Lake, Man., died on Dec. 29 at the Brandon Regional Health Centre, following a month-long illness that started in Cuba, where she and her husband, John, had travelled for one of their regular sun vacations.

Barb developed flu-like symptoms on Nov. 26 while staying on Cayo Santa Maria, said her husband, John. She took a turn for the worse and they headed to a medical clinic on Nov. 27, he said.

“The resorts are absolutely gorgeous where the tourists are, the facilities are beautiful, the beaches are amazing,” John said. “But once we got to the medical centre, it was a horrendous shock.

“It was very dirty, everything had rust on it, there was no doors on anything, everyone seemed to be in their street clothes.”

Staff at the clinic had her transferred later that morning to a hospital more than two hours away on mainland Cuba. She was admitted to the intensive care unit, put on a ventilator and treated for septic shock.

The hospital didn’t have food, water or public toilets that worked, the family said. Sinks were also few and far between. At one point, hospital staff asked the family to go and bring back orange juice and push it though Barb’s feeding tube, the said.

Continue reading Warning to tourists: Don’t get sick in Cuba

Inside the Cuban Hospitals That Castro Doesn’t Want Tourists to See – Island’s “World-Class” Health Care Is a Myth Wrapped in Propaganda

HCQ2

PanAmPost

By the time I climbed the steps of the emergency room entrance in San Miguel, Havana, I could already tell that the supposed first-class health care provided in Cuba was a myth. Hospitals in the island’s capital are literally falling apart.

Friends told me to dress “like a Cuban” and not to speak while inside, since my Argentinean accent would give me away the moment I said hello. A member of the opposition Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) party came along to guide me in my journey to the core of communist-style medicine.

The only available restroom in the Havana hospital had a single, dirty toilet.

We entered the hospital at 10 p.m. on an ordinary Saturday night in September. Three out of the hospital’s four stories were closed. Only the ER was operational.

“We have been waiting for an ambulance for four hours,” yelled a man wearing green scrubs, who seemed to be a doctor. I sat on one of the four plastic chairs in the waiting area. My friend kept still and gestured to let me know I should remain silent and listen to the patients and their relatives.

Twenty minutes went by, and still no ambulance. The man in green scrubs remained at his mother’s side on an improvised stretcher, trying not to lose his patience. They looked like characters from the play Waiting for Godot.

The scarce equipment available gave the building the appearance of a makeshift medical camp, rather than a hospital in the nation’s capital.

I stood up and continued my tour. Two nurses stared at us but didn’t say a word as we entered an intensive-care unit, where the facility’s air-conditioned area began.

My guide — a taxi driver for tourists who don’t get to see this part of town — told me that all the doctors working the night shift are still in school. Indeed, none of them appeared to be older than 25.

Without an adequate staff on site, relatives must push hospital stretchers themselves.

The only working bathroom in the entire hospital had only one toilet. The door didn’t close, so you had to go with people outside watching. Toilet paper was nowhere to be found, and the floor was far from clean.

I saw biological waste discarded in a regular trash can. The beds had no linen, and the only equipment around was the bag of IV fluids hanging above them. All doctor’s offices had handwritten signs on the doors, and at least four patients waited outside each room. The average wait time for each was around three hours.

Orderlies were also nowhere to be seen. A young man had to push his mother on a stretcher until he reached the line of those waiting for an ambulance.

I left the hospital after a couple hours. Once outside, puzzled by the large bags the people entering the hospital were carrying, I asked my friend to explain.

“Well, they have to bring everything with them, because the hospital provides nothing. Pillows, sheets, medicine: everything,” he said.

Differing Perspectives

Cuba’s Public Health Ministry runs all hospitals in the country and is in charge of centrally dictating public-health policies. The socialized medical system, delivered at no charge to Cuban patients, is a key propaganda tool of the Castro regime.

“Since the triumph of the Revolution, making sure that Cubans have free health care has become a fundamental social cornerstone,” Granma, the Communist Party’s official media outlet, boasts in an article. “This is in line with the humanism and social justice of our revolutionary process.”

Socialists and progressives outside of Cuba have also been known to gush over the island’s state-run health-care system.

Trays with leftover food are left behind in the hospital room.

In 2007, filmmaker Michael Moore released a documentary that featured US citizens who traveled to Cuba to get free medical treatment. Moore claimed they received services comparable to what ordinary Cuban citizens would have received.

“The Cuban people have free universal health care. They’ve become known as having not only one of the best health-care systems, but as being one of the most generous countries in providing doctors and medical equipment to third-world countries,” Moore says in Sicko.

Yilian Jiménez Expósito, general director of Cuban Medical Services, told Granma in an interview that “the secret lies in the medical training under a socialist system, where doctors do not view the patient as merchandise or a customer; where every citizen has a right to health care from birth to the grave, without discrimination.”

However, Hilda Molina, a Cuban neurosurgeon who turned against Castro, explained in an interview with El Cato that the whole sector is under tight government control, which shuts downs private alternatives or independent organizations.

Cubans must bring their own pillows and bed sheets for their hospital stay

“These arbitrary measures, aside from many other negative consequences, had a terrible impact, ethically: the sacred doctor-patient relationship was replaced with an impersonal government-patient dynamic. When patients are forced to seek care from government-sanctioned doctors and facilities, they suffer distress, whether consciously or unconsciously, immersed in a deep sensation of insecurity,” she said.

“The regime has neither provided Cubans with equality nor fairness in health care. The ruling elite, their relatives and friends, get better service than the rest,” Molina lamented.