by Steve Brouwer
Monthly Review Press
Revolutionary Doctors gives readers a first-hand account of Venezuela's innovative and inspiring program of community healthcare, designed to serve--and largely carried out by--the poor themselves. Drawing on long-term participant observations as well as in-depth research, Brouwer tells the story of Venezuela's Integral Community Medicine program, in which doctor-teachers move into the countryside and poor urban areas to recruit and train doctors from among peasants and workers. Such programs were first developed in Cuba, and Cuban medical personnel play a key role in Venezuela today as advisors and organizers. This internationalist model has been a great success--Cuba is a world leader in medicine and medical training--and Brouwer shows how the Venezuelans are now, with the aid of their Cuban counterparts, following suit.
But this program is not without its challenges. It has faced much hostility from traditional Venezuelan doctors as well as all the forces antagonistic to the Venezuelan and Cuban revolutions. Despite the obstacles it describes, Revolutionary Doctors demonstrates how a society committed to the well-being of its poorest people can actually put that commitment into practice, by delivering essential healthcare through the direct empowerment of the people it aims to serve.
About the Author:
Steve Brouwer is the author of Robbing Us Blind: The Return of the Bush Gang; Sharing the Pie: A Citizen's Guide to Wealth and Power in the United States; Exporting the American Gospel: Global Christian Fundamentalism (co-authored with Susan D. Rose); and Conquest and Capitalism, 1492-1992. He is also a carpenter and designer, and has organized worker-owned construction businesses and housing cooperatives. In 2007-2008, he lived in a rural village in the mountains of Venezuela and wrote about his campesino neighbors and the Bolivarian Revolution.