December 27, 2010 “Intelligence: Late Breaking Lab News”

As the year ends, a bit of humor is in order and the recent dust-up involving Michael Moore’s healthcare documentary, titled “Sicko,” and a State Department cable posted on may be just the item. About a week ago, The Guardian newspaper in Manchester, England, reported that a State Department cable posted on had contained information that “Cuba banned Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary, Sicko, because it painted such a ‘mythically’ favourable picture of Cuba’s healthcare system that the authorities feared it could lead to a ‘popular backlash,’ according to U.S. diplomats in Havana.” In Moore’s film, the Cuban health system was presented as a high-quality universal healthcare system accessible by all Cubans.

MORE ON: Sicko

The Guardian next quoted the cable as saying Castro’s government banned showing the film in Cuba because it “knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.” Apparently Moore visited Cuba’s best hospital, which had been newly renovated. The Guardian wrote that “the only way a Cuban can get access to the hospital is through a bribe or contacts inside the hospital administration.” For his part, Moore was able to get The Guardian to pull the story down from its website and replace it with this statement: “The story relating to this headline has been removed following the completion of an investigation into a complaint from Michael Moore—please see correction.”


  • Rodney Forsman of Mayo Medical Laboratories in Rochester, Minnesota, will retire on January 31, 2010. Forsman is an Administrative Director and Assistant Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and is wrapping up a career at Mayo that spans four decades.
  • At Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories , LLC (PAML), in Spokane, Washington, Thomas O. Tiffany, Ph.D., DABCC, FACB, has announced that he will retire at the end of 2011. Tiffany joined PAML as its General Manager in 1987. After training at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tiffany held scientific and executive positions at several in vitro diagnostic manufacturers.

Dark Daily Update

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…how more laboratories in the United States are willing to recruit and hire foreign-trained medical technologists (MT) and clinical laboratory scientists. The Philippines is a major source of MT talent.

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