Despite important increases in morbidity due to deteriorating living conditions and a striking decline in availability of imported medical supplies
, infant, maternal, and general mortality are at their lowest rates ever.
Cuba's focus on high quality training, universal access
to care, heightened vigilance for breakdowns in the social safety net, and judicious use of scarce goods shows, once again, that remarkably good health outcomes are possible if the few medical resources are put to the best use.
Most globalised drugs, as Kirkpatrick points out, are available only from US sources. More pervasively, transport and market dislocations cause increased costs for all medicines that are purchased: in Cuba this is calculated to be equivalent to a 30% surcharge than if there were no embargo