CUBA’S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM—ITS STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES
For a list of dates of these expeditions, please click on “Our Tours.” For information on Independent Study Programs, scroll down this page.
30 C.E. Contact Hours may be awarded through International Health Professional Education (California C.E. Provider #15609). The nursing boards of most other states have a reciprocal arrangement and accept continuing education credit issued by California providers.
Location: Havana and Varadero Beach, Cuba
California registered nurses (and those in other states with reciprocity) may earn 30 C.E. contact hours by participating on this expedition and passing a collaborative final exam. Certificates will be issued. (There will be an additional charge of $30 for processing fees.) This unique program will be a 10-day, 9-night escorted people-to-people tour of Cuba with a focus on the Cuban Health Care System. (Click on “Our Tours” on the home page.) This will be a full-time program, where nurses and other participants will hear presentations from Cuban physicians, nurses, researchers, representatives from the Ministry of Health, and others.
The Lead Instructor will be James Lewis, RN, M.Ed. He has been a registered nurse for 35 years. For most of his career he specialized in intensive care and emergency services. He has been a nurse educator and manager. He is an expert on Cuba’s health care system and has visited the country on numerous occasions to study and attend international programs regarding health care and nursing services. (He has also served as a camp nurse at a remote biological research station in eastern Cuba.) This course will present the strengths and weaknesses of Cuba’s system from a “middle of the road” perspective.
C.E. contact hours and certificate provided by International Health Professional Education, P.O. Box 2447, Grass Valley, CA 95945. Email: JamesLewisRN@hotmail.com; .
Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider #15609, for 30 Contact Hours
Refund Policy: Full refund of $30 cost for 30 C.E. hours if participant acknowledges by email prior to the first day of the course that he/she does not plan to participate .
PROGRAM: This program presents a comprehensive overview of Cuba’s national health care, using a variety of educational modes, including individual speakers, conferences, panel presentations, question-and-answer sessions, facility tours, people-to-people interactions (including with current patients). All programs will be presented in English and/or with English interpretation.
The program will emphasize concepts and ideas that could eventually be incorporated into the American health care system through exchange of ideas with our health professional Cuban counterparts. In the immediate future, American health care professionals will need to adjust to providing care with diminishing resources. Cubans are very familiar with this situation. In contrast, they are looking for ways to improve their technical care and take advantage of increased contact with American professionals.
Many health care professionals believe that “Medical Tourism” in Cuba will expand exponentially in the near future. Cuban hospitals and clinics already treat patients from all over the world. Thousands of Americans are now seeking treatment in such far-away countries as India, Thailand, and The Philippines. Cuba is not only much closer geographically to the United States; it is much closer culturally.
Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:
Describe the major differences between health care in the U.S. and in Cuba.
Describe the screening and referral system utilized by Cuba’s neighborhood physician/nurse clinic model.
Identify the strengths and weaknesses of Cuba’s hospitals and discuss ideas that the U.S. might consider implementing.
Describe some of Cuba’s specialty hospitals and clinics, and how patients are referred for specialized care.
Describe Cuba’s emergency medical system and differentiate between urban and rural emergency care.
Discuss disaster planning and evacuation preparedness for citizens of Cuba and its visitors.
Discuss Cuba’s nursing and medical schools, and compare/contrast with programs in the U.S.
Describe the expectations of various Cuban health professionals about the future of health care.
Cuba Independent Study Program: Cuba’s Polyclinics
Introduction: Currently there are roughly 500 polyclinics throughout Cuba–in urban neighborhoods and in rural towns. Each polyclinic serves between 15-30 family doctor’s offices. While these offices offer basic evaluation and treatment and health education, the polyclinics have laboratory services, x-ray, an emergency room, and rotating specialists. The polyclinics also act as the organizational hub for the family doctor-and-nurse offices, and as accredited research and teaching centers for medical, nursing and allied health sciences students. These are the backbone of Cuba’s health system. Any Cuban with a health problem requiring additional specialization or technology can be referred to regional medical centers and specialized facilities.
To complete this program through independent study, each health professional must speak conversational Spanish and:
*Spend sufficient time reading and researching to become familiar with this topic— typically 10-14 hours. Links to relevant articles and information will be sent by provider.
*Travel to Cuba under a General License allowing Professional Research (provided)
*Visit a specific polyclinic in Cuba, speak with staff and patients, and tour the facility (arranged by provider).
*In addition, each participant will interview community members about their experiences in their local polyclinic.
*The number of Continuing Education contact hours will be variable, depending on the extent of the research and length of the summary report. This will be determined by provider on a case-by-case basis. In most situations, the number of C.E. contact hours awarded will be either 16 or 30.