Statement: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Fidel Castro's death 'Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation. While a controversial figure, both Mr. Castro's supporters and detractors recognized his tremendous dedication and love for the Cuban people who had a deep and lasting affection for "el Comandante".'
Editor's note: Cuba's state-run TV announced that Communist revolution leader Fidel Castro died Friday. Castro ruled Cuba for almost half a century before handing power to his brother Raul in 2008 due to poor health. BBC News writes his supporters praised him as a man who had given Cuba back to the people, while opponents accused him of suppressing opposition. Castro's alliance with the Soviet Union sparked several confrontations with the U.S during the Cold War, including the Cuban Missile Crisis, and The Miami Herald writes that no other individual has ever "tormented" the U.S. more. Castro had reportedly survived hundreds of U.S. assassination attempts and premature obituaries, and the news of his death may trigger celebrations among Cuba's exile community in Miami, The Guardian reports. In 2014, the U.S. announced plans to restore ties with Cuba, with President Obama saying neither countries were "well-served by a rigid policy that's rooted in events that took place before most of us were born." In an opinion piece this year, Castro accused Obama of sweet talking Cubans and ignoring the accomplishments of Communist rule, according to Reuters. The Guardian writes Castro's greatest legacy is free health care and education, but adds that he is also responsible for government controls that have "strangled" the Cuban economy. President Raul Castro said his brother will be cremated Saturday morning. - Stephanie
Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in human beings. Health care is delivered by health professionals (providers or practitioners) in allied health professions, chiropractic, physicians, physician associates, dentistry, midwifery, nursing, medicine, optometry, pharmacy, psychology, and other health professions. It includes the work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.
Access to health care varies across countries, groups, and individuals, largely influenced by social and economic conditions as well as the health policies in place. Countries and jurisdictions have different policies and plans in relation to the personal and population-based health care goals within their societies. Health care systems are organizations established to meet the health needs of target populations. Their exact configuration varies between national and subnational entities. In some countries and jurisdictions, health care planning is distributed among market participants, whereas in others, planning occurs more centrally among governments or other coordinating bodies. In all cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a well-functioning health care system requires a robust financing mechanism; a well-trained and adequately-paid workforce; reliable information on which to base decisions and policies; and well maintained health facilities and logistics to deliver quality medicines and technologies.
Health care can contribute to a significant part of a country's economy. In 2011, the health care industry consumed an average of 9.3 percent of the GDP or US$ 3,322 (PPP-adjusted) per capita across the 34 members of OECD countries. The USA (17.7%, or US$ PPP 8,508), the Netherlands (11.9%, 5,099), France (11.6%, 4,118), Germany (11.3%, 4,495), Canada (11.2%, 5669), and Switzerland (11%, 5,634) were the top spenders, however life expectancy in total population at birth was highest in Switzerland (82.8 years), Japan and Italy (82.7), Spain and Iceland (82.4), France (82.2) and Australia(82.0), while OECD's average exceeds 80 years for the first time ever in 2011: 80.1 years, a gain of 10 years since 1970. The USA (78.7 years) ranges only on place 26 among the 34 OECD member countries, but has the highest costs by far. All OECD countries have achieved universal (or almost universal) health coverage, except Mexico and the USA. (see also international comparisons.)
Health care is conventionally regarded as an important determinant in promoting the general physical and mental health and well-being of people around the world. An example of this was the worldwide eradication of smallpox in 1980, declared by the WHO as the first disease in human history to be completely eliminated by deliberate health care interventions.