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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 0864-3466


ROJAS OCHOA, Francisco. The Cuban path to the universal health coverage in the 1960-2010 period. Rev Cubana Salud Pública [online]. 2015, vol.41, suppl.1. ISSN 0864-3466.

Universal coverage has reached an outstanding place in the public health literature in recent years and the World Health Organization plays the leading role in this field. The objective of this paper was to present how and when Cuba has reached the universal coverage in health and its main characteristics. This paper summarized the aims of universal coverage and defined the contents of the services and their functions according to WHO. It analyzed the health coverage in 1960 in Cuba when rural areas were separated from the urban ones on account of their remarkable differences; the ways in which coverage expansion models have moved into broader and better range of coverage until having a unique urban/rural model that has reached the universal coverage. This paper also examined the advances in the primary health care without neglecting the secondary and tertiary levels. The role of the polyclinics in its several modalities to achieve universal coverage was also underlined. Coverage is universal whenever the barriers to access to services are non-existent, including economic, political, social, ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, gender or any other type of barriers; it is provided more effectively by unique health systems financed by the state. The privileged setting for universal coverage is the primary health care as it has been shown in Cuba for a long period of time despite the great obstacles faced. An initial program of coverage expansion will prioritize the rural area population.

Palabras clave : health services; universal coverage; primary health care; rural area; urban area; Cuba.

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