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Health Care
Cuba has without argument the best national healthcare system in Latin America, and one of the best in the world. Cuban citizens do not have to pay for medical treatment or drugs. A great majority of the population are covered by the Family Doctor program whereby they have an easily accessible personal physician in their immediate neighbourhood. However, due to the loss of some 80 per cent of Cuba's foreign trade after 1989 and the contraction of its economy by about 35 per cent, some serious problems arose in the public health system. These problems were significantly intensified by the U.S. economic blockade. Nevertheless, the Cuban people, as always, were resourceful and were able to prevent a complete collapse of the system.

 

Despite a difficult situation, the age of life expectancy has continued to rise well into the mid-seventies, and infant mortality is as low as in most highly developed countries. Travelers to Cuba require no particular immunizations, and usually the worse one can expect is a rare brief diarrhea from change of environment, food and water. Drinking bottled water is advised and it is readily available. However, expert care is available for any contingency. All hotels have medical staff on hand, and hospital care is usually not far away. Should the need arise for medical evacuation of a visitor, Cuban authorities can make timely arrangements for transfers and flights. TravelCubaCaribbean.com offers a wide range of local medical services designed for foreigners and used by Cubans as well. Spas and medicinal baths are also available.Visitors can also receive certain treatments without charge; however, it is recommended that travelers purchase a medical insurance policy since they must pay for most of the medical services they received. There are several international institutions, clinics and pharmacies opened to foreign residents and tourists.

The Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) is the entity in charge of the National Public Health System and of drawing, executing and controlling the policies established by the government and state, including the development of Medical Sciences and the Medical-Pharmaceutical Industry as a whole.

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