Dr. Darsi Ferrer to brief Cuban-American members of congress

From the Congressional office of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen  

Today in DC:  Cuban-American Members of Congress Host Briefing “Castro Care:  Lies & Deceit & The Reality Of Cuba’s Failed Health System” Will Offer Insight Into The Farce That Is Castro’s Healthcare; Physician & Dissident Dr. Ferrer Will Brief Attendees
Aug 2, 2012

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), along with her Cuban-American House members, Albio Sires (D-NJ), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), and David Rivera (R-FL) will host a briefing on the Castro regime’s healthcare system. The Congressional briefing entitled “CastroCare: Lies & Deceit & the Reality of Cuba’s Failed Health System” will help separate fact from fiction and showcase the real CastroCare where access to quality healthcare is restricted to tourists and regime elites, while the general population is forced to endure substandard conditions.

WHAT: Congressional Briefing on Castro’s healthcare system: “CastroCare- Lies & Deceit & the Reality of Cuba’s Failed Health System”

WHEN: TODAY Thursday, August 2, 2012 from 3:00 to 4:00 pm

WHERE: Room 2200, Rayburn House Office Building

Guest Briefers:  Dr. Darsi Ferrer, Cuban human rights champion, former Director of the Juan Bruno Zayas Health and Human Rights Center in Havana and prisoner of conscience; Dr. Rene Rodriguez, President of the Interamerican College of Physicians & Surgeons, Inc; and Frank Calzon, Executive Director of the Center for a Free Cuba.

Said Ros-Lehtinen,“This important briefing is timelier than ever with the outbreak of cholera and dengue fever currently menacing the Cuban people. Anyone who follows events in Cuba knows that CastroCare only works for tourists and members of the regime, and that the rest of the population is forced to take their own medical supplies to hospitals and appointments. Some Castro apologists love to fawn over the supposed equality and advances in the regime’s healthcare system but the reality is far different and denying this is an insult to every freedom seeker in Cuba who has endured the inequality and dysfunction of Castrocare.”

Congressman Sires stated that “Unfortunately, despite reality, hype surrounding Cuba’s health care system continues to grow.  In actuality, access to health care is restricted to the communist regime elites and foreign tourists.  Cuban citizens are routinely turned away from health care services or suffer long waits at government health facilities.  The Cuban health care system is deteriorating at the costs of its citizens.  My hope is that the experts presenting at this briefing will highlight the true facts regarding the Cuban health care system.”

Said Mario Diaz-Balart, “The healthcare that most Cubans receive under Castro’s dictatorship is abysmal.  Many services are available only to regime elites and foreign tourists who pay with hard currency. Medical personnel and supplies are scarce in Cuban neighborhoods, and doctors are forced to serve internationally in exchange for oil and other payoffs orchestrated by the Castro dictatorship. I commend my colleague, Chairman Ros-Lehtinen, for bringing together this distinguished panel to highlight the sad realities of healthcare in Cuba, and to reveal the appalling lack of access to quality care for the vast majority of Cubans.”

David Rivera states that “Cuba’s healthcare system has projected a false image of itself for far too long.  It is a myth that the Cuban people have access to quality healthcare.  In fact, more often than not, Cubans are required to provide their own medical supplies, hospital sheets and dressings—that is, when they can manage to see a doctor.  Access to quality care is restricted to Castro regime officials and wealthy tourists while average Cubans struggle against diseases that have long since been eradicated or for which effective treatments exist.  This week’s hearing is important precisely because it will shine a light on the truth of healthcare in Cuba and the lies perpetuating CastroCare.”