Medical Assistance

Please note:  The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the entities or individuals whose names appear on the following lists.  Inclusion on this list is in no way an endorsement by the Department or the U.S. government.  Names are listed alphabetically, and the order in which they appear has no other significance.  The information on the list is provided directly by the local service providers; the Department is not in a position to vouch for such information.

Medical care in Cuba typically does not meet U.S. standards.  While medical professionals are generally competent, many health facilities face shortages of medical supplies and bed space.   Many medications are unavailable, so travelers to Cuba should plan to bring any prescribed medicines and over-the-counter remedies in their original containers and in amounts commensurate with personal use in the event of delays to return travel.  All personal items are subject to scrutiny by customs officials, so a copy of a prescription and a letter from a prescribing physician explaining the need for prescription drugs may facilitate entry.

Cuba requires visitors to have non-U.S. medical insurance, which is usually included in airline ticket prices on flights originating in the United States or can be purchased at the airport upon arrival to Cuba.  Ensure you have the necessary insurance coverage prior to arrival and keep your boarding pass.  You will need it to obtain medical care.

Travelers to the Havana area should be aware that U.S. and other foreign visitors seeking medical care are generally referred to the Clínica Central Cira Garcia Hospital, which provides medical services for foreign residents in Havana.  The hospital is in the Miramar neighborhood of Havana.  Medical consultations and treatment at Cuban hospitals generally require payment by a Visa or Mastercard credit card.

Many domestic health insurance companies do not provide coverage outside of the United States and medical evacuations to the United States may cost more than $50,000.  Before leaving for Cuba, travelers should speak with their health care providers to determine overseas coverage in the event of a medical emergency.  Several private insurance companies offer short-term travel medical insurance.  Travelers should ensure that plans cover medical evacuation by air, medical emergencies, and repatriation of remains.

More information about Cuba-specific health concerns is available through Travel.State.Gov.

Other Health Information

The U.S. Embassy in Havana informs U.S. citizens that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel notice for Cuba regarding the Zika virus.  There is evidence that Zika is linked to birth defects in the fetuses of infected pregnant women and Guillain-Barre syndrome in infected individuals of any age or gender.  Zika is typically a mosquito-borne illness, but there are reports that the virus has been transmitted through sexual contact and blood transfusions.  For general information about Zika, please visit the CDC website.  For information about CDC travel notices, call 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) from within the United States, 1-404-639-3534 from overseas, or visit the CDC website.

Occasional outbreaks of a variety of tropical maladies, notably viral meningitis and dengue fever have occurred in Cuba, to include in Havana and other cities.  Exposure to disease is not limited to remote and less-sanitary areas.  Hepatitis A is common, particularly in the summer months, and immunoglobulin is not readily available.  Some urban neighborhoods are subject to heavy public insecticide spraying.

Information on vaccinations and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s hotline for international travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX (1-888-232-3299); or via the CDC website.

The U.S. Embassy in Havana urges travelers to protect themselves against the transmission of dengue fever.  Dengue fever is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitos.  It is not contagious.  The peak feeding/biting time of mosquitos is during the first few hours of daylight and in late afternoon.  Visitors should take particular care during those times.  More information is available through the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)