Earlier this year, an Amnesty International report criticised North Korea for its deplorable healthcare system among other human right abuses. This is pretty consistent with what we all know about the reality of the most secretive collectivist regime in the world - total disregard for human rights.
The Amnesty International report provides truly horrific details and testimonials from North Koreans. The introduction to the Amnesty report clearly lays out the vast difference between North Korea’s claims on its provision of health care and the reality:
Interviews with North Koreans (refugees who were fortunate enough to escape with their lives) depict a country that professes to have a universal (free) health care system but in reality struggles to provide even the most basic service to the population. Health facilities are rundown and operate with frequent power cuts and no heat. Medical personnel often do not receive salaries, and many hospitals function without medicines and other essentials. As doctors have begun charging for their services, which is illegal under North Korea’s universal health care system, the poor cannot access full medical care, especially medicines and surgery.
Importantly, the report recognizes that fact that the dismal health care system in North Korea is “in large part due to failed or counterproductive government policies.” Pretty amazing stuff, coming from a decidedly progressive organization.
Now, contrast this against the assessment of Margaret Chan, Director General of the U.N.’s World Health Organization. Following a visit to the Country in late April 2010, Dr. Chan observed:
"Now based on what I have seen, I can tell you they have [a health care system] that most other developing countries would envy."
"For example, DPRK has no lack of doctors and nurses, as we have seen in other developing countries where most of their doctors have migrated to other places. But DPRK has enough doctors and nurses, they have a very elaborate health infrastructure, starting from the central to the provincial to the district level…."
"People in the country do not have to worry about a lack of financial resources to access care…."
"[W]alking is quite well observed in that country, and I suggest that is why I didn’t see many obese people."
Chen’s comments were heavily criticized when reported and rightly so. The lack of “obese people” is due to chronic food shortages in the country, exacerbated by the government’s opposition to letting farmers sell their crops for profit. A large percentage of the populace falls below international standards of malnutrition and an estimated one million North Koreans died of starvation and starvation-related diseases in the late 1990s. The country needs massive amounts of international food aid every year to avoid a repetition of starvation.
While many developing countries have very poor health care systems, North Korea seems unlikely to elicit envy from any of them. The problem is that none of those countries come close to the level of communist rule as N. Korea, thus the explanation for Dr. Chen's defense of the indefensible. The one world order, globalist marxists of the U.N. suffer from the same disorder as Sean Penn, Danny Glover, and others in the U.S. who glorify the fruits of the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela.