A Preventive, Comprehensive, & Integrative approach to Health

Servicios Médicos Cubanos, in close collaboration with Novaterr, has created a health program for First Nations communities in Canada. It is the result of more than 50 years of experience in the field of medical and health collaboration in Cuba.

Cuba has:

  • Expertise in healthcare transformation & knowledge transfers;
  • A preventive, comprehensive, & integrative approach to health;
  • A internationally recognized public health & care model & system;
  • A results-oriented International Collaboration Program.

Cuba’s health care system is based on preventive medicine.

The focus of the Cuban public health policy & healthcare system is to prevent the appearance of diseases & health issues among the population before they emerge.

To invest in prevention is not only more effective on the population’s health, it is also more efficient on an economic level.
Preventing diseases & health issues in remote communities with fewer hospitals via a health determinants approach has been a particular area of attention.

A comprehensive approach to public healthcare

The different components of Cuba’s healthcare system are all interconnected to form an integrated system and to avoid silos.

Cuba’s healthcare system is closely linked to research and development; for instance, the medical students have classes directly in hospitals & health clinics to ensure a better transfer of knowledge and know-how.

An integrative approach to health

In Cuba, the doctors are trained to the patient as a whole, to search and treat the root causes of diseases and illnesses. The whole background and history of the patient is hence central in the treatment of this particular patient.

To achieve the best results, Cuban doctors often integrate alternative and traditional practices and medicines as a complement of conventional treatments.

Health statistics in Cuba


  • 6,286 doctors, mostly in large cities and private practice.
  • Infant mortality higher than 60 per 1000 newborns.
  • Life expectancy lower than 60 years.
  • Sanitary situation with predominant communicable diseases, many of them preventable by vaccines.
  • Illiterate population represented 40%.
  • One School of Medicine.


  • 95,487 doctors. Rural areas 100% covered.
  • Infant mortality of 4.0 per 1000 newborns.
  • Life expectancy of 78.45 years.
  • Sanitary situation with non communicable chronic diseases and a Vaccination Program covering 13 diseases.
  • 13 Schools of Medicine, 25 independent faculties, the Latin American School of Medicine and the National School of Public Health.

What do we offer?

Healthcare resources for all First Nations communities in need: Cuban collaborators from our International Collaboration Program of primary care professionals – including doctors & nurses.

University Education Programs and immersion training in Primary Health disciplines for First Nations students, on site in Havana.

Health is a pillar of development

Following the revolution, Cuba made health and education the two pillars of development for the country. 

As a result, and despite 60 years of economic sanctions, Cuba has managed to guarantee free access to health care for all its population.

Currently, there is a total of 101,674 students in medical fields in Cuba. 

Of these, 11,472 are foreign students coming from 127 different countries, taught by 36,500 professors.

Every year, 30,000 health professionals assist people all around the world.

Cuba has assisted many countries in forming & training their own health professionals

In the last 60 years, hundreds of thousands of students from all over the world have come to study in Cuba in many health fields.  

Cuba also assists other countries with transferring expertise to develop a “preventive” healthcare system based on the Cuban healthcare model.  

An example of such a country is Qatar where a Cuban team completely manages a new hospital while transferring their expertise on a preventive healthcare model.

Health must be a central aspect of macroeconomic and social policy, helping to draw them together into one coherent policy for sustainable human development. AND Primary Healthcare remained the core solution to radically improving world health, particularly the health status of the poorest and most needy populations.

Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Executive Director of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Contact NOVATERR for more information or make your request directly here.