Che Guevara ideal, foundation of Cuban revolutionary medicine

On August 19, 1960, exactly six decades ago, when inaugurating a course at the Ministry of Public Health, Che delivered a speech highlighting the importance of political will to promote fairer health projects.

To be a revolutionary doctor or to be a revolutionary, the first thing you have to have is a revolution, assured the Heroic Guerrilla in that intervention that is remembered even more when the Covid-19 pandemic makes one reflect on the need for a more humane and less medical practice. trade.

On that occasion, the Argentine-Cuban revolutionary leader affirmed that a revolutionary doctor is ‘a man who uses the technical knowledge of his profession to serve the Revolution and the people.’

In addition, since then the doctor also warned about the value of banishing selfishness and directing the creative capacity of all health professionals towards the tasks of ‘social medicine.’

Although he was referring to a context different from the current one, since then he considered it essential to use the ‘weapon of solidarity’ to solve problems, a concept that soon after Cuba would turn into a daily practice by sending Cuban doctors to other nations.

Another of the ideas that Che highlighted in that speech was to implement so-called preventive medicine, which today has become the basis of the Cuban health system, an axis evidenced above all in the ‘Family Doctor’ program, through which there are doctors present in all the communities of the island.

In this way, it is perceived how he envisaged a comprehensive health system in the Greater Antilles, which not only materialized, but also stimulated the subsequent biotechnological boom, catalyst of relevant internationally recognized results.

On the other hand, Dr. Guevara, who was aware of the elitist and mercantile nature of the practice of medicine under capitalism, defended the existence in Cuba of personnel who condemned and departed from this dehumanized style.

Thus, those who review the text from 60 years ago appreciate the harmony between the conceptions of the leader of the Revolution Fidel Castro and Che, mainly with regard to the social and humanist role that from now on would be a pillar of the professionals of the Cuban health.


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