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I am suffering a muscle pain and I also have a profound hatred for the U.S. healthcare, including making phone calls to see if some provider is "in network" and all that goes with it.

Since I do not think getting medical treatment should be as administratively complicated as it is here in the States, I am contemplating taking a vacation to Cuba, if I can enjoy their excellent healthcare at a discounted price as a foreigner, now that travel to Cuba is open.

I am posting here to inquire about how easy and cheap it is for a foreigner to walk into an orthopedist's office somewhere in Cuba and get treatment.

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    Have a look at healthservicecuba.com I think you might find there is a bit of administration involved. Under normal circumstances you will not be admitted to Cuba without proof of a comprehensive medical insurance policy – Calchas Jul 13 '15 at 22:28
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    Friends just went for an 'oxygenation' treatment in Cuba (from Washington) and had no problem, but it might help that they booked in advance, have you considered doing that? – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Aug 4 '15 at 6:34
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    Also while @Calchas is correct about insurance, I had full travel insurance and at the border they still insisted on me paying for their Cuban insurance, for US$25. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Sep 1 '15 at 13:26
  • @MarkMayo It's not that arbitrary, it depends on whether the Cuban government has agreements with your insurance company or not. At the border they have a list of "approved insurers", mine for example (maulife.ca in Canada) is ok. Also the price for the Cuban insurace is per day, not a flat rate. – yms Sep 11 '15 at 15:52
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Like any medical specialists, in any country, advance booking is likely a necessity. You could walk in but if they're busy or on leave, you wouldn't be able to see anyone.

So I'd recommend contacting a few in advance. This is relatively easy to do online:

Costs are going to vary depending on your case, treatment and procedure, and as such any past examples are likely to only be indicative rather than accurate.

One further thing to consider - sure you could get treatment in another country that isn't the US (like Cuba), but if something goes wrong - or you have a complication upon returning to the US, your local US hospital or specialist might be reluctant to treat you as a result.

  • Is that last paragraph a U.S. liability thing? I've gotten medical treatment in other countries from time to time and no Canadian practitioners bat an eyelash- other than asking for a translation of prescribed medicine names. – Spehro Pefhany Sep 1 '15 at 15:59
  • @SpehroPefhany yeah, the litigious nature of the US has had several people warn me about potential risks for these things - I can't speak from personal experience though, I'd never get stuff intentionally done in the US. – Mark Mayo Supports Monica Sep 2 '15 at 0:42
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The hospital Cira García in Havana is specialized in offering medical services to foreigners in Cuba. You can contact them by phone or email. Note that phone calls to Cuba are usually very expensive.

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