The concept of “health tourism” in Cuba grows toward a more holistic and comprehensive idea: “medical and health services”, which combine care with quality of life, academic training and research, along with technologies and associated products.
These words belong to Dr. Gelacio Alberto Aday, Marketing and Research director of Cuban Medical Services SA. This company strengthens its strategic alliance with BioCubaFarma Pharmaceutical and Technological Industries Group, some sources said on Wednesday at the 31st Havana International Fair.
Dr. Julio Castaner, SMC business director, explained that currently more than 60 countries are receiving highly specialized provisions in the areas of oncology, plastic surgery, epidemiology, orthopedics, neurology and neurosurgery, rehabilitation, ophthalmology, dermatology, pediatrics, among others. Here it highlights preventive medicine as one of the most popular specialties.
This activity is based on the four SMC business lines: professionals and technicals health services abroad, foreign medical care in Cuba, academic and research services within and outside the country, and care services for national entities operating in hard currency and to foreign organizations settled here.
Regarding overseas offer, Castañer reported that Mexico, Colombia and Peru are among the most in demand by way of private management, while Angola, Namibia, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Chad and South Africa are leading the requests in teaching sector.
During the period 2013-2014 more than 4000 foreign young people are studying medicine, dentistry and health technology, in addition to specialties, masters and doctorates. This marks a record in self-financing mode.
The Tarara residential and “Las Praderas” clinic are examples of attention to strangers in Cuba, while ENERGAS and the works at Mariel Special Development Zone also received these services. Such a variety of consumers confirm the possibilities of personalized care and the programs that are offered.
The broad portfolio also includes biotechnological products, nutritional and antioxidants supplements, immediate diagnostics and testing techniques, cancer detection systems and unique of its kind drugs. Two significant cases are Heberprot P and CMAvax EGF vaccine.
The links between BioCubaFarma and SMC involve the participation of prestigious scientific institutions: the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB by its Spanish acronym), the Molecular Immunology Center (CIM by its Spanish acronym), Immunoassay Center and the Center for Research and Neurological Restoration (CIREN by its Spanish acronym), just to name a few.
In the words of Aday, joint efforts prioritize export diversity and qualitative growth, to form as end product integrated services and highly competitive packages.
The SMC business director stressed that research, innovation and development of new products and therapies become permanent goal in medical and health work of both entities. Ethics, humanism and professionalism are fundamental premises.
Cuba is really in condition to export health services due to its high professional qualifications, an educated population, citizen security and international recognition in the sector. Thus, for example, BioCubaFarma has 716 health records abroad and markets its products in more than 50 countries.
Cuban Medical Services S.A. has contracts directly with domestic and foreign entities, central or local governments, public and private institutions, regional and international organizations, and natural and duly accredited legal persons.