Healthcare and medical care
In general, healthcare in Cuba is of a high standard and staff is well trained. There is often a lack of hospital beds, ordinary medicines and other supplies, however. In addition, the equipment needed for medical care are not widely available in Cuba.
Travel insurance is mandatory when travelling to Cuba. In order to enter the country, your insurance must cover potential medical, medicine and hospital expenses. It is recommended that you take out all-inclusive travel insurance.
The aim has been to centralise the treatment of foreigners in specific units. You can obtain medical services and treatment as well as guidance in serious illness or accident situations through the Asistur service.
Hotels in some tourist resorts have their own medical services. International Servimed clinics provide also urgent treatment. These clinics are located in tourist resorts around the island. The Cira Garcia Hospital in turn offers hospital care to foreign patients in Havana.
Charges for doctors’ fees, clinic visits and medicines are usually settled in cash. Keep all receipts you receive. You can claim reimbursements from your insurance company retrospectively on submission of receipts.
In serious illness or accident situations requiring costly medical treatments, you should contact your insurance company so that party responsible for paying the cost of care can be confirmed. The insurance company usually makes payment commitments and coordinates assistance through Asistur.
If you are health insured in Finland, and have received treatment in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland on account of a sudden illness, worsening of a chronic condition, pregnancy or childbirth, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively. You are entitled for the same reimbursement that you would have received if you had been treated in the private healthcare system in Finland. Please note that the reimbursement usually covers only a small part of the costs of the treatment. Thus, taking out a comprehensive travel insurance is recommended.
Pharmacies in Cuba are generally small and the range of medicines varies. Not all medicines are necessarily available at pharmacies. It is possible that even the more common medicines are available only in hospitals. It is recommended that you take all medicines you may need with you when travelling to Cuba. Be aware, too, that the practices in Cuban pharmacies vary regarding whether a doctor´s prescription is needed in order to purchase a medicine.