Cuba plans to expand services on medical and health tourism to compete with other countries in the region.
The Cira Garcia health centre in Havana is expanding in size and patient capacity. It set up in the 1980s to offer health services to overseas country diplomats and their families. In the 1990s it expanded into treating foreign residents living in Cuba and medical tourists. The centre offers services in all clinical and surgical specialties, plus paediatrics and gynaecology.
In Cuba healthcare is free to all citizens and the country has spend much time and money educating doctors. The country relies on medical tourism to gain extra income.
While it is not legal for Americans to go to Cuba as medical tourists, it is legal in Cuba for clinics to deal with Americans; so some Americans either ignore the ban and hope to avoid the fines, or travel from Canada or Mexico. Cuba also gets medical tourists from many Central and South American countries.