Sunday, September 09, 2007

Ah, Cuba: sun, cigars and hip replacements

This isn't speciifically a pharmacy story, but it does involve a Canadian pharmacist.

From Macleans:
Cuba -- a mecca for fine cigars, rusty cars and rickety communism -- is being sold by a Winnipeg entrepreneur as a cutting-edge destination for health care queue jumpers. Daren Jorgenson, founder and "chief idea officer" of Choice Medical Services, has sent some 200 Canadians and Americans on medical tourism excursions to the island for services including drug rehabilitation, hip replacement, eye surgery and breast augmentation. "The standards of care are very high," says Jorgenson, who also runs an Internet pharmacy and a chain of Canadian medical clinics. "Obviously Cuba is an impoverished country, but when you're having surgery done, you're in some pretty premier facilities."

Medical tourism is a growing source of hard currency for Cuba, which trains a surplus of doctors. "I like to call Cuba's physician pool Fidel's oil, an untapped economic power," says Jorgenson. His business lets Canadians with the ability to pay avoid long wait times. For Americans who enter Cuba through a third country to thwart the U.S. embargo, it's a way to stretch inadequate private insurance. The cost of a hip replacement in Cuba is $8,000, compared to $63,000 in the U.S. ...more

No comments: