Note for Introduction: The other ???orice in this cerise, it seams to mo,are interest because?
Note for Introduction: The other ???orice in this cerise, it seams to mo,are interest because they tell us, something abut an unfamiliar society. This the would be good if it were about a hospital in Germane, England or New Jersey. ???egadless of polities, it access to me that the Cubans have hit on a solution to the problem of how to care for the chronically mental ill at a price which society can afford and should be willing to pay. This is one story which could have an supplications to problems in the United States.
This in all what remains of cuba's National Hospital for the demented--one ward and a block of sell, both to be demolished by the and of June. The old hospital was one of the scandals of pre-Castro Cuba. The mental patients were treated as paris onere and badly treated at that. One ward with beds for two hundred actually housed one thousand three hundred.
On the site of the old mental home, the Havana Psychiarrid Hospital bun grown up since the revolution--a new and highly successful approach to treating chronic cases of mental illness.
These mental patients form part of a theatre group. Their song, Beautiful Cuba, is dedicated to Fidel Castro. It seems strange this type of treatment, based on maximum freedom and responsibility for the mentally ill, should have grown up in regimented Cuba, but it did.
Another of the guiding rules at this hospitals is that patients should be encouraged to do productive work as soon as they can and are willing. Originally putting the patients to work was a necessity if living conditions were to be improved, but soon the hospital directors found that patients were happier when given responsible tacks, and that for a great many, previously considered hospitals, rehabilitation was possible.
These patients are in the first stage of rehabilitation. One of their symptoms making repeated circular ???eycents wood and ???and-paper, the hospital staff discovered that sometimes an awareness would develop of what they were doing, first step toward an eventual reintegration into society.
None of the patients is forced to do anything. These patients prefer sports to work. Later it is hoped they will shift to a half day of sports and a half day of work. They ley is to keep the patients active in the company of others, rather than isolated doing noting.
The man who organized and directs the hospital, Commandante, ???duardo Ordaz, was a doctor with Castro in the mountains. He said, "We make no great claims for cures. For most of these patients medical science hasn't found a cure. But we do treat them in a more humane way; we do make them useful to themselves and to society and in many case we do make it possible for them to return to their families and a relatively normal life.
With the great number of patients, four thousand, and the growing rose large area of the hospital, a hundred sixty acres, it can give a wide run of treatment. Some patients grow roses...Others raise chickens. The type of occupational therapy provided can be tailored to the needs of the patient. By providing products or services to the outside Cuban economy, the hospital pays back some of its cost to the society at large.
Even without counting its input to the economy, the hospitals cost are incredibly low. Patients are responsible for the physical upkeep of the institution; therefore the size of the staff is kept to a minimum it costs the stats only three ??? that figure includes every things the patients needs..
As they grow in responsibility and rehabilitation, patients re??? allowed out to visit their families or to work under hospital Supervision.
The cane-cutters in this sugar field are all patients from the psychiatric hospital. They can earn up to eighty dollars a month from their labours. The salary serves to raise the patient in his own esteem.
The man sharpening his ???schete, killed his wife before being committed. Hospital authorities say that in the right circumstances patients can use tools, even dangerous ones, without risk. This year there was only death among the cane cutters--from an automobile accident which could have happened to anybody.
Commandants Ordain said. "Fidel didn't invent Communism. And we didn't invent Occupational therapy. But we were the first to use this kind of treatment massively and in a productive way. He added, "I think it work anywhere in the world. tom stroithorst, NBC NEWS at the Havana Psychiatric Hospital..