Cuban health services feeling the strain of aging population

World Today

Cuban health services feeling the strain of aging population

Cuba’s low birth rate combined with an aging society has seen the island’s population start to shrink. As a result, the country’s health services are feeling the strain. In response, the Cuban government has launched a series of new measures aimed at encouraging women to have more babies.

CGTN’s Michael Voss reports.

Cuban health services feeling the strain of aging population

Cuban health services feeling the strain of aging population

Cuba’s low birth rate combined with an aging society has seen the island’s population start to shrink. As a result, the country’s health services are feeling the strain. In response, the Cuban government has launched a series of new measures aimed at encouraging women to have more babies. CGTN’s Michael Voss reports.
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Almost one in five Cubans is over the age of 60. It’s the highest percentage in Latin America, according to United Nations, and with free healthcare, people are living longer.

The average life expectancy is around 80. But caring for the elderly is putting an increasing strain on Cuba’s medical and social services at a time when fewer young people are entering the workforce to help pay for it.

The average birth rate here is the lowest in Latin America.

Low pay and a struggling economy don’t help, but with Cuba’s free education system, many women are putting their careers first.

Cuba already offers some of the best child care support in Latin America from low-cost nurseries to one year’s maternity or paternity leave.

In a bid to close the gap between the young and the old, the Cuban government is looking for new ways to try and encourage women to have more children.

Women working in the private sector will have their tax cut in half if they have a second child.

Also, if mothers don’t take their full year’s maternity leave, the state will now pay working grandparents to take leave instead.