Monday, July 17, 2006

Could Maduro and Oscuro be far off?

The establishment of a Cuban embassy in Islamabad is testament to the possibilities of solidarity in the midst of adversity: Cuba sent 2,400 doctors and medical staff to Pakistan's quake ravaged northern areas last year despite not having diplomatic relations with the country at the time. It is only right that Pakistan at least have taken this small step to express its gratitude.

Amazingly, the Cubans are not satisfied with just providing us with fish - they want to teach us how to fish, too. The Cuban healthcare system is one that Pakistan, indeed most developing countries, would do well to emulate. The system does have its critics, but they emphasise the problems of resource allocation in a centralised economy - something Pakistan does not have to fear in the foreseeable future.

The 1,000 medical scholarships the Cubans are offering will be a boost to Pakistan's chronically understaffed clinics and hospitals. However, the full effect of the Cuban miracle will only be felt if Pakistan's policy makers and administrators are also sent across to learn how the system itself operates: governance and development issues are fundamentally about good management.

The choice is ours: will we import knowledge or will we import cigars?

1 comment:

Talha Masood said...

I like the sarcastic ending, and the message has sense too.