Cuba Health Care Research Trip 2010

Vinales Panorama

A group of North American medical professional's experience studying the Cuban medical system.

Structure of the Cuban Healthcare System

There are 470 polyclinics throughout the country - in urban neighborhoods and in rural towns. Each polyclinic serves between 14-30 family doctor's offices. Whereas the family doctor's offices offer basic evaluation and treatment and health education, the polyclinics have laboratory services, x-ray, an emergency room, and rotating specialists. Below is one of the polyclinic physicians we met with in Havana:

Physician at polyclinic in Havana.

Throughout the country there are 289 maternity homes - these are facilities where high-risk pregnant women can await labor while being monitored by nurses and with daily physician visits.

Maternity Home, Vinales Province

 Women who live very far from a maternity hospital may also stay in one of these homes during the last few weeks of their pregnancy. With labor the women are transferred to one of Cuba's maternity hospitals.


Expectantly expecting.


Each region has specialty hospitals, including maternity hospitals, pediatric hospitals, surgical hospitals, and psychiatric hospitals. At the Havana Regional Maternity Hospital, below, about 4,400 babies are born each year.

Havana Regional Maternity Hospital


The specialty hospitals have modern high-tech equipment:


Infant being monitored at maternity hospital.


And the tobacco farmer on the right told us of being taken to Havana when he had a heart attack and undergoing angioplasty and stent placement in his coronary arteries. Our very able translator, Alberto, on the left.


Tobacco farmer.