Cuba spends about $400 per person each year on healthcare, while in the U.S. that number is about $9000 according to the World Health Organization.

Yet the two nations have about the same life expectancy: 76 for men and 81 for women.

There are a lot of reasons why the U.S. spends so much more. Medical resources are limited in Cuba. The U.S. stopped trading medical supplies over 50 years ago when they set up the embargo. Cuba is also poor.

But it has the highest doctor-per-patient ratio of any country in the world. And labor is cheap. Doctors’ salaries are only $30 a month.

The country can’t afford many prescription drugs, so Cubans often use herbal medicines. And health stats show the system seems to be working. Katie Manning reports.

Photo courtesy of Katie Manning 

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