"There were 6000 doctors in Cuba at the time of the Revolution; there are now close to 80,000 for a population of 11.3 million," Roger Cohen, "The End of the End of the Revolution," New York Times Magazine [Dec. 5, 2008], quoting a "top official at the Ministry of Economics," without verifying the figures or attempting to put them into historical context
In 1957, according to the Statistical Abstract of the United States, there were 65oo physicians in Cuba for a population of 6.4 million. The ratio of physicians per population was approximately 1 per 1000 inhabitants. This was the same ratio as in France and Holland and better than in Great Britain, which had only .83 physicians per 1000 population. The corresponding figure for the U.S. at that time was 1.27 per 1000.
There may be "close to 80,000" Cuban doctors today, but the great majority are not in Cuba but are posted throughout the world as Castro's medical Ghurkas, their salaries paid by foreign governments to the Cuban state, which dispenses about 5% to them for living expenses. These doctors are in fact nothing more than slaves rented out by their master on a per diem basis. Their families are not allowed to accompany them on internationalist missions but must remain as hostages at home to discourage them from running away to freedom.