Revolutionary Doctors: How Cuba and Venezuela are changing the world’s conception of health care

The Consulate of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela cordially invites you to two presentations on Monday April 9 and Tuesday, April 10.

Health Roots Political Economy of Health Seminar Series presents

Revolutionary Doctors: How Cuba and Venezuela are changing the world’s conception of health care

…. a talk by author Steve Brouwer

Mon. Apr. 9. 
12:30 pm | Kresge 213
Harvard School of Public Health
677 Huntington Ave. Boston

Lunch will be provided.

Free and open to the public. For visitor passes email[email protected]

Organized by the Health Roots Student Group at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Tuesday, April 10th, 12-1pm
Boston University School of Medicine
Room L201/203
72 E Concord St, Boston, MA 02118

Lunch will be provided. Info: [email protected]

About: Drawing on long-term participant observations as well as in-depth research, author and journalist Steve Brouwer tells the story of the innovative and inspirational health care programs pioneered in Cuba and being adapted to the needs of Venezuela today. Unlike the for-profit system of health care in the United States, the Cuban and Venezuelan models aim to provide free care for the entire population, particularly in poor rural and urban areas. For nearly a decade, thousands of Cuban medical personnel have focused on delivering primary, secondary, and preventive care while at the same time training the Venezuelan doctors who will one day replace them.

These new physicians are receiving a thorough medical education while continuing to live in and serve their own communities; many of them hope to one day join the ranks of Cuba’s international medical brigades that are spreading revolutionary approaches to health care in many parts of the world. These models are not without their challenges, however, and Brouwer gives a nuanced account of how Venezuela and Cuba are fending off capitalist and imperialist influences that are openly hostile to any alternatives to profit-driven, market-based health care.

“What a terrific book! I have been researching Cuban medical internationalism for several years, and found Steve Brouwer’s book an excellent, insightful first-person account of how Cuban medical cooperation (and not aid!) is changing the face of the developing world.”

– John Kirk, Professor of Latin American Studies, 
Dalhousie University, Canada; author, 
Cuban Medical Internationalism: 
Origins, Evolution, and Goals.

“The Cuban medical education model, so eloquently described in this book, has not merely transformed health care in much of Central and South America. It has shown doctors and medical students who work in the unjust and dysfunctional U.S. health care system that another world is possible.”

—Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH; 
professor of public health, CUNY; 
visiting professor of medicine, 
Harvard Medical School

“Venezuela and Cuba clearly show that the basic human right of access to medical and health care in time of need is not dependent on the level of economic development. Venezuela and Cuba are not rich countries yet, and in spite of this, health care reaches the majority of their populations. They should be considered points of reference for poor countries that want to break with the underdevelopment of health. This book is a rigorous and balanced account of how they did it.”

—Vicente Navarro, MD, PhD; professor of 
health policy, The Bloomberg School of 
Public Health, Johns Hopkins University; 
editor-in-chief, International 
Journal of Health Services

“Revolutionary Doctors tells the story of Cuba’s extraordinary medical personnel who leave their homes and families to support radical struggles for health care abroad. And it shows how this struggle is taken up in places like Venezuela, where poor communities are organizing to provide health care from the ground up. This is a story that deserves to be known.”

– Sujatha Fernandes, assistant professor of sociology, 
Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center; 
author, Who Can Stop the Drums? Urban Social 
Movements in Chávez’s Venezuela

“Steve Brouwer is one of the nation’s best front-line reporters from the ongoing class war.”

—Barbara Ehrenreich, author, 
Nickel and Dimed