World Family Doctor’s Day: A Cuban Hug of Gratitude

In 2010, the World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA) proposed the creation of World Family Doctor Day to highlight the importance and contribution of these professionals to health systems worldwide, but since 1984 Cubans, from our own experience, we already valued this task very much.

Cuban doctor

It was in that year when, at the initiative of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, the Family Doctor and Nurse Program was created here with the aim of guaranteeing inclusive medical care for individuals, the family, the community, and the environment.

It began with the Lawton polyclinic, in the capital’s municipality of Diez de Octubre, and spread rapidly, reaching 11,200 clinics last year.

On the 38th anniversary of this task, celebrated on January 4th, Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda, Minister of Public Health, recalled that:

“The Family Doctor and Nurse Program has become the very essence of our National Health System. The dedication of professionals who work there has left deep marks in every corner of Cuba and also in many parts of the world.

“Preventing, educating, caring… protecting are actions that define what we do in our communities: there is defended in the first place the health of our children, grandparents, pregnant women… of our families.”

And it was in the communities, during the two years of the pandemic, facing dangers and difficulties, when those doctors and nurses shone brightest, to whose actions Cuba owes, to a large extent, its results in the confrontation against the COVID-19.

For this reason, and because there’s no Cuban family where at some point these health personnel have not left their mark of dedication and responsibility, this people embraces them with gratitude, today and every day of the year.

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