Like my friend Bruce McQuain at QandO, I’m wondering whether Michael Moore will add this to a later edition of the Sicko DVD. Twenty-six patients in a Cuban mental hospital died from hypothermia during an unusually cold winter in Havana:
Twenty-six patients at Cuba’s largest hospital for the mentally ill died this week during a cold snap, the government said Friday.
Human rights leaders cited negligence and a lack of resources as factors in the deaths, and the Health Ministry launched an investigation that it said could lead to criminal proceedings.
A Health Ministry communique read on state television blamed “prolonged low temperatures that fell to 38 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) in Boyeros,” the neighborhood where Havana’s Psychiatric Hospital is located.
It said most of the deaths were from natural causes such as old age, respiratory infections and complications from chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular problems.
The statement came in response to reports from the independent Cuban Commission on Human Rights that at least 24 mental patients died of hypothermia this week, and that the hospital did not do enough to protect them from the cold because of problems such as faulty windows.
My goodness, it’s a good thing that Michael Moore decided to lecture Americans on the superiority of the Cuban health-care system in his feature-length diatribe, isn’t it? Otherwise, we wouldn’t be demanding a government takeover of our own health-care system to achieve parity with Fidel’s paradise.
I live in Minnesota, where it gets considerably colder than Havana for about six months out of the year. Our hospitals manage to keep patients warm, clean, and safe. When was the last time anyone heard of patients dying in an American hospital of hypothermia caused by their stay in the facility? According to my recollection, that would be, uh … never. Where were the staff at this Cuban paragon of medical care? When it got cold, no one apparently thought to close windows, or give out more sheets and blankets, or bring in more heaters … for hours....