Relax. Let’s Get Personal About Cuba

Your favorite bartender is waiting to welcome you at Xanadu

“Tell me whatcha want. What you really, really want!” Fitting lyrics by the Spice girls. Sit back, think of Mojitos and let’s get personal. Tell me, as a Medical Professional, what does your ideal trip to Cuba consist of? As a subscriber, you will be receive a short quiz in my next Shout-Out.

Starting 2017, everyone will have plenty of choices and more convenient ways to get to Cuba. However, unless we book well in advance, you may find yourself staying in Casa Particulars, instead of Cuba’s 5-Star, all inclusive resorts, or expensive hotels. I don’t see the prices in Cuba going down. Quite the opposite.

Personally, I love being immersed in the culture by staying at a Casa Particular. You can get an idea of what to expect on AirBnB.

A few of my subscribers are wondering where I’ve been lately, and what’s happening with Cuba.

Well, on June 8th, I fractured my knee-cap. I slipped on the water soaked floor of the laundry room in my building. Since then, I’ve had, “The Best Healthcare in the West” at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Hospital. Without my asking, two nurses confided that I lucked out with a great surgeon. The doctor said I was lucky it wasn’t my hip. When my friends said I was really taking it well, I reminded them how lucky I was to be on Medicare, “with” a side of SCAN.

P/T twice a week for a another few months before I get full range of movement back to my wired up, knee-cap. I’m not confident enough to travel yet, but I can sit at my desk comfortably again, drive, and get back to work. Not exactly fun,but a tremendous learning experience to be sure. I’m making up for lost time. But, maybe I was meant to slow down and reassess the situation.

The pressure was off when the trip was cancelled about a week before my accident. We only had 12 out of the 20 participants we promised, so they pulled the reserve on rooms at the Melia. Due to a shortage of rooms, this happens to everyone, so I wasn’t that surprised. I did find rooms and made arrangements for a few people who had plans in Cuba. It was especially disappointing for the Cuban Educators at Matanzas University, who were very hopeful to establish relationships, and share in the dreams of a brilliant future together.

But enough about me and the past. Here’s the great news about the future.

CUBA Updates

CME-Abroad is working with a small, exclusive cruise ship, to accommodate small groups of medical personnel for a cruise around Cuba. (This would allow us to stay on-board overnight.)

ALASKA AIR starts in Alaska, stops off in Seattle and LA before flying directly into Havana, starting on January 5, 2017.

My Cuban contact tells me, U of Miami is in Varadero these days, at the University of Matantas, exploring the possibilities of future medical conferences. They’ve been working with Cuba to set up accreditation for almost ten years. It’s more complicated than you think. I’m look forward to hearing it’s a go, and telling you all about it.

Bulletin: 10/19/2016 – OFAC and BIS Changes to Cuba Sanctions Further Ease Trade and Travel Restrictions on Health and Humanitarian Initiatives

“OFAC issued three new health-related general licenses. The first allows persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction to engage in joint commercial and non-commercial medical research projects with Cuban nationals. The second allows transactions incident to obtaining U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals. The third allows for the importation into the United States, and the marketing, sale, or other distribution in the United States, of FDA-approved Cuban-origin pharmaceuticals.

Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction engaging in these health-related activities are also authorized to open and maintain bank accounts in Cuba for use in conducting the authorized business.

In addition, OFAC expanded the authorization for grants, scholarships, and awards to Cuba or Cuban nationals to include grants, scholarships, and awards related to scientific research and religious activities. Here’s the story:

DR. JILL BIDEN to Havana & Camaguey

Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Cathy Russell and Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs Evan Ryan will accompany Dr. Jill Biden to Havana and Camaguey, Cuba from October 6 – 9. Together, they will meet with government officials and engage with a diverse range of Cubans on topics related to culture, education, women’s empowerment, and health.


U.S. Patients Could Benefit from Innovative Cuban Therapies for Diabetes, Lung Cancer and More

Oakland, CA (PRWEB) October 14, 2016

The non-profit MEDICC (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba) applauds the Obama Administration’s decision to eliminate obstacles that have kept Cuban health innovations from reaching Americans.

The U.S. Treasury Department´s Office of Foreign Assets Control(OFAC) announced today amendments to the Cuba embargo regulations that will allow U.S. medical research centers to collaborate with Cubans in commercial as well as non-commercial research. The changes also permit Cuban-developed pharmaceuticals to enter normal FDA regulatory channels, and be sold in the United States if FDA approved.


MedicalTourismLite (my other website) published a story about the possibilities of U.S. citizens traveling for healthcare to Cuba. The answer came weeks after my post was published. In a quote from the link above:

…others are yet to be adopted, such as allowing U.S. patients to travel to Cuba for medical treatment, providing Americans with more options for care, especially given Cuba’s global recognition for many medical advances not yet available in the United States.

MedicalTourismLite -Suggests a Wellness Vacation in Cuba at Las Terrazas.

We really loved our visit here and wished we could have stayed for a few days to see the Sunrise and Sunset, and listen to the night creatures. To say nothing of enjoying the (non-GMO modified) fruits of the land, and soaking in thermal waters.

If you’re interested in more, here a link to a beautifully written article about the place and it’s history.


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