With infant and child mortality rates lower than that of the United States and a nearly identical life expectancy (78 years), the prevention-focused system, which guarantees a physician for everyone, has proved successful. A commendable statistic of its own – some 19,000 trainees, all of which international, give thanks to emerge as doctors each year, for free. As possibly the biggest medical school in the world, the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) holds a prominent part in the medical system as a whole.
As a healthcare professional visiting Cuba, many teachings are to be seized - perhaps replicated. From prioritizing health and sexual education, to international volunteerism, Cuba beats most countries, including the U.S. With immediate response to the recent Ebola epidemic in West Africa and of crucial support to their Haitian neighbors. Secretary General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon gives his stamp of approval regarding Cuba's response to healthcare crisis' around the globe. “They are always the first to arrive and the last to leave. They remain in place after the crises. Cuba can be proud of its health care system, a model for many countries.”
Throughout the seven-day journey, prepare to strip the myths surrounding this tightly structured government system. Starting from bustling Havana, all the way to the tranquil Western provinces, tune in for an in-depth assessment of its virtues, as well as its shortcomings – the notorious export of doctors, and acute shortage of resources. All along, together with your Cuban guide, you’ll have the chance to meet Cuba’s dedicated doctors and nurses, who for very little in return, their impact is indubitably heard; not solely in Cuba, but all around the world.
As soon as you land on Cuban soil, we’ll waste no time in your quest for all things Cuba. After clearing customs and immigration, hop on a bus tour, for an afternoon circuit of Havana’s main highlights.
Following hotel check-in, we’ll gather for a brief orientation. Meet the insightCuba tour leader and your local Cuban guide for the week.
To conclude a day of travel, rest and unwind during this evening’s welcome dinner, a feast complete with music and mojitos.
To begin, we head to the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, an NGO promoting Cuban culture and international relations. A presentation of AMISTUR Cuba S.A follows, the Institute’s travel agency and your host in Cuba.
To follow, join the consultants of the Ministry of Public Health, for a discussion on the Cuban health system. After lunch, continue on with a visit to a family doctor and a nurse’s office, where you’ll examine disease control and prevention, as well as Cuba’s healthcare programs.
Back at your hotel, enjoy a free evening on your own. Your Cuban guide is sure to make the best suggestions on local paladares, family-owned restaurants – a must while in Cuba.
Today’s ventures begin with a spotlight on Old Havana. The cobblestone street UNESCO Universe charms with bright colors and architectural riches. Decades of history reveal their secrets. This morning’s walking tour includes visits to Plaza de Armas, Plaza de San Francisco, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de la Catedral, and Bodeguita del Medio, a Hemingway favorite. Break for lunch.
Next, at the Leonor Pérez Maternity Home, part of the Maternal/Infant Program, you’ll learn about the attention given to pregnant women with health risk factors, including social disadvantages in Cuba.
Closing on the day, witness an example of the current Cuban economic model at the Almacenes de San José Cultural Project in the historical center of Havana.
Dinner tonight is at the hotel. To follow, the evening is yours to enjoy.
Once the daybreaks, it’s off to fertile Pinar del Rio, home to the world famous tobacco fields. After visiting healthcare professionals training centers and primary healthcare institutions, we’ll break for lunch. Insight into medical training for foreign students will be provided.
Following hotel check-in, prepare for dinner at the hotel. The day ends with the members of a Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), for an analysis on senior citizens in the community.
Continuing on the journey in Western country, next stop is Las Terrazas, in Artemisa province. Located in the Sierra del Rosario mountain range, the self-reliable eco community is a UNESCO designated Biosphere Reserve. While visiting the local medical center, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with doctors and nurses for insight into rural healthcare.
Following a tour throughout Las Terrazas, we’ll have lunch at a local restaurant. Prior to returning to Havana, join us in visiting the Buena Vista Coffee Plantation.
Upon arrival back in the Cuban capital, dinner is served at your hotel.
Your last day in Cuba is off to an eventful start. To begin, specialists from the STIs/HIV/AIDS Prevention Center will shed light into prevention through education and sexual health. A visit to the National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX) follows. Cuban sex education policies will be discussed, including educational, social, cultural and legal actions in defense of the LGBT society.
After lunch, we’ll wrap up at a healthcare professionals’ training center, followed by a visit to a mental health‐related community project.
Closing in an edifying Cuban incursion, exchange impressions with your group at tonight’s farewell dinner.
Check out and depart for José Martí International Airport.