Don’t travel to Cuba without a solid travelers medical insurance policy that will send you home for treatment in the event of an emergency. A Cuban hospital is not where you want to be treated in a medical emergency.
Cuban hospitals often resemble 1950s butcher shops. Cuba has no hospitals that are up to first world standards. There are some mediocre (by world standards) medical facilities in Cuba but they still suffer shortages.
Scarcity of goods and services are a way of life in Cuba. And you don’t want to find yourself without vital medicines or access to modern medical equipment in the event of a medical emergency.
The other hurdle you will need to overcome in Cuba during an emergency medical situation is bureaucracy, lines, corruption and poorly trained staff.
You will need medical insurance for Cuba!
Can A Foreigner Access Free Health Care In Cuba?
Some Cuban hospitals purportedly offer free emergency medical care to foreigners. Though realistically, you absolutely will not be able to access this care during a medical emergency.
Cuba is characterised by corruption and disrepair. These ‘free’ facilities will be in a perpetual state of decay. They will not have the medicines and medical equipment to treat you, the foreigner, to the standard you are used to.
The people controlling access to medical care in the event you are sick or injured, take bribes to supplement their meagre wages.
Back when COVID travel required a PCR test to leave the country, the path through these individuals took an entire day. Everyone was trying to get foreign currency cash while ‘amending’ the paperwork to make it free (i.e. putting the test in their name).
In the event you require emergency medical care, a medical evacuation to Miami is your best option. And without an adequate, stand alone medical insurance policy you will not have access to medical evacuations from Cuba.
Are Medicines Cheap In Cuba?
Medicines and medical care in Cuba is not cheap. Cuba is characterised by corruption and disrepair. Medical practitioners and other professional workers sell goods and services on Revolico. They also take bribes to supplement their meagre wages.
In the event you need to access medicines in Cuba your best option is to search Revolico. Cuba’s version of ‘Craigslist’ that is a fully functional black market. You will often find that the medicines missing from the hospitals are being sold on Revolico by hospital workers.
Is Medical Insurance Required To Visit Cuba?
The requirement to have travelers medical insurance covering Cuba is Cuban law, though it isn’t always enforced. Cuban Aduana (Customs Agents) can ask you to show proof of medical coverage on arrival in Cuba. And if you don’t have travel insurance specifically covering Cuba, they will make you buy their overpriced and useless Cuban policy.
With that said, I would never contemplate traveling to Cuba without a comprehensive travelers medical insurance policy. In the event of a medical emergency, I would absolutely not want to be treated in a Cuban hospital.
The myth that Cuba’s medical care is world class is just that, a myth. Doctors are often poorly trained. Hospitals are dirty and in a constant state of disrepair. They’re no better than butcher shops.
Iran and Cuba are under US sanctions. And have been for about the same length of time. But an Iranian doctor is world class and Iran’s hospitals are state of the art and capable of providing first world healthcare. Cuba’s hospitals are dirty butcher shops.
I personally use visitorscoverage.com to search for and buy my own comprehensive travelers medical coverage for Cuba. And I ensure that the policies cover COVID and evacuation in a medical emergency.
As I write this article now, one week into my current two month stay in Cuba, I’m covered by my travelers medical insurance acquired from visitorscoverage.com.
What Insurance Is Required For Cuba?
Travelers medical insurance is a legal requirement when visiting Cuba. If you are found to be without a travel insurance policy specifically stating it covers Cuba, you’ll be forced by Aduana to buy Cuba’s expensive (and useless) policy.
However, I would not travel to Cuba without travelers medical insurance. Or anywhere else for that matter. I’ve had enough medical emergencies in Latin America to know never to travel without coverage. I’ve even been stabbed more than once.
I get my medical insurance policies for Cuba from visitorscoverage.com.
I don’t bother with insurance covering my luggage and personal effects. I’m happy to rely on the free insurance I get from my credit card provider. Yet I would not rely on my credit card insurance for health coverage in Cuba.
I only travel to Cuba with comprehensive travelers medical insurance policies that cover COVID and medical evacuation in the event I need urgent medical care.
Where Can I Get More Information About Cuba?
I’ve made my Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba available on this website. And I would strongly advise you to read it before traveling to Cuba. It will help you navigate Cuba and Cuban society.
My Complete Guide To Cuba will save you a lot of time and a significant amount of money on your trip to Cuba. Cuba is not the sort of destination in which you can just arrive unprepared.
Read the most Complete Guide To Traveling Cuba here.