Planning your elective - Cuba
Mark Wilson gives you some tips on organising an elective in Cuba
Cuba is the Caribbean's largest island, and it is the only one with a Communist regime. Its Spanish colonial history has persisted through the US sanctions since 1962 to provide a unique and vibrant culture. Cuba is renowned for its cigars and music. More recently, the high quality of health care, despite the limited resources, has been attracting attention.
It is hard to believe that a country under US sanctions can provide “free” care without waiting lists (we can't even do that in the United Kingdom). That said, there is a desperate shortage of materials, and you may be asked to take some supplies out with you. If that is the case, contact ECHO (www.echohealth.org.uk) to do it properly (you don't want to be stopped at customs). Also think about taking any slightly out of date copies of the British National Formulary or textbooks that may be of use. Many