Medical tourism has been around in Cuba for a long time. In 2006, more than 1,000 patients from over 85 countries, including Canada, the United States, Mexico, Spain and the UK were admitted to Cira García Central Clinic for treatment. The hospital specialises in providing clinical, surgical and dental services, plus rehabilitation.
The specialties are wide ranging and include gynaecology and obstetrics, orthopaedics and neurosurgery. I have suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for 5 years and have been treated in Cuba by a wonderful clinical team of 15. I do not receive this level of care back in the UK, which is one of the richest countries in the world.
Living in Cuba I have experienced real Cuban local hospitals and been assigned a family doctor, just like the locals are, not medical tourism!. At my initial clinical appointment with my rheumatologist at hospital, I was X-rayed from head to toe. Blood samples were taken that received more than 20 different tests. I was then seen by a raft of different specialists, including a physiotherapist and a nutritionist. My physiotherapist introduced me to a local man living in my area and I was signed up to do a Tai Chi class three times a week. My nutritionist asked me to keep a food diary for two months and monitored my weight as if I was an A-list celebrity.
My rheumatologist told me that if I was ever in pain, which is likely to happen at times - we call them flare-ups - I was to return to see her or a member of the team. She agreed it was unlikely that they would be able to offer me any solutions as I had all the medicine I needed to cope with my condition. Despite this, she was very insistent that if I was in pain I must seek them out.
During the cold and wet January in 2015, I experienced such a flare-up and I returned to the hospital and sought out my rheumatologist and some of the members of the clinical team. My rheumatologist and three others listened to me intently and then simply hugged me for about four minutes, also telling me how much they cared about me and that they were unable to offer anything more than I had already done myself. We then all left the hospital and went for ice cream. Now that's what I call medicine.
For others, checkups for men cost $240 for which you receive two consultations with specialists, laboratory tests, a prostate ultrasound, X-rays and electrocardiograms. Cosmetic surgery is available, with liposuction of the waist, abdomen and thighs costing around $2,300.
It’s important to know that the funds generated in this way are used to provide free treatment for Cubans, so yes there is a profit but a profit for the Cuban people and not private health care providers or drug manufacturers. Other services include cornea transplants, treatment for glaucoma and cataract surgery. Read about “Operation Miracle”
To find out more visit the web site.
Address: Calle 20 No. 4101 esq. a Av. 41, Miramar, Playa.
Phone number: (53) (7) 204 2811
Fax: (53) (7) 204 1633
Telefax: (53) (7) 204 2640