Often, people generalize concepts in the ophthalmology branch of medicine; Ophthalmologists, optometrists and opticians are regularly used as one. However, the concepts differ. Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that involves caring for the eye. A medical doctor in the ophthalmology practice is identified as an ophthalmologist. The doctor must have completed six-eight years of studies in medicine and have been licensed to practice. The doctor is qualified after training and license to treat various eye diseases and may also engage in research on visual ailments and cures. An optometrist on the other hand isn’t a medical doctor but a healthcare professional who deals in visual testing, treatment and correction. An optician is a technical professional who deals in designing, verifying and fitting lenses for eye patients. An optician doesn’t test the patient but supplies eye wears based on the recommendations from the ophthalmologist.
Becoming an ophthalmologist requires six-eight years of study. The study usually involves spending some years in college, earning a medical degree, spending some months for residency and getting the license to practice as a medical doctor. Ophthalmologists by profession can choose to study more and specialize in certain subareas in ophthalmology. The subareas include learning to care for the cornea, uveitis, refractive surgery, neuro-ophthalmology, pediatrics, ocular oncology and reconstructive surgery. Studying ophthalmology is however different in Cuba with medical students spending five to six years on the program. The difference is also noted in the program costs and availability of facilities for medical teachers and students in the country. Cuba has become positioned on a top class in the league of countries with sophisticated systems and capacity in the world and now ranks alongside the United Kingdom, the United States and India in global medical excellence. Cuba has become a household name for global medical tourism and ophthalmology is an essential part of medicine practiced in the island nation.
Cuba’s progress in the field of ophthalmology
The Cuban government has invested in the development of medicine in the country. Medical schools are provided resources and intervention funds. The regular tracking of the progress of medical students has helped strengthened medical performance and achievement in Cuba. Cuban ophthalmology program involves the diagnosis, treatment, surgery and care for the eye using modern technologies in world-class facilities. The level of industry-standard medical facilities and facilitators in Cuba has earned the country global respect and increased patronage in medical tourism. Successful surgeries have been conducted and the success has become a testament that attracts patients from foreign countries to seek medical care in the country. Eye surgery and eye care are majorly handled in Cuba by medical doctors with years of experience. Ophthalmology practice in Cuba is regulated by the Ministry of Health of Cuba and only licensed professionals are permitted to practice medicine in the country.
The Leading Ophthalmology Center in Cuba
Ramon Pando Ferrer Cuban Institute of Ophthalmology: RPFCI is an ophthalmology center established in 1956 in Cuba and has gone to become of the leading medical centers in the world. The institute is focused on the treatment of visual diseases with special care for low vision and blindness. Ramon Pando Ferrer Institute with its over 50 years of existence has achieved huge milestones in eye care, surgery and corrective visual procedures in Cuba. The institute has become globally renowned in retina treatment and cares for ‘macular and vitreoretinal diseases.’ The Institute is well known for its excellent records in Nero-ophthalmology and the testing and treatment of optical nerve conditions including surgical procedures. The Institute specializes in treating inflammation conditions of the eye, uveitis, treating of severe eye inflammation, and the application of surgical procedures for eye care and treatment. The Institute prides itself on refractive surgeries, cornea diagnosis and management, treatment of keratoconus, and cornea transplant where it has gained unmatched recognition for complications-free corrections and treatments globally. The Institute also treats visual disorders from birth including eyelid, lacrimal ducts, tumors and stenosis from birth. The Institute has projected the Cuban government’s efforts in caring for blindness using the integration of local medical knowledge and modern technological facilities. The milestones achieved by the Institute in eye care and treatment are positioning Cuba for greater medical tourism and medical education.
Why eye care, surgery and treatment in Cuba
Quality and affordable medical care: 3,500 foreigners land in Cuba annually to seek medical attention because it’s affordable than medical treatment in the United States of America. Medical experts in Cuba testify to the progressive inflow of international patients seeking ophthalmology care and treatment. Cuba has a record of cheap medical care dated as back as 1999 when rhinoplasty was $1,300 in the US and $1,700 Cira Garcia in Cuba and abdominoplasty cost $4198 in the US and $2340 in Cuba. The quality-oriented medical services in Cuba have testaments of excellence and the cost variation between the island country and the US has not in any way affected the quality. The quality of ophthalmology services in Cuba draws patients to medical centers in the country from the Caribbean and Latin America and Finland and Japan even though they are far away.
People-based medical care: Cuban health system is centered on providing basic health care to Cubans as part of the fundamental responsibilities of the government. The revolutionary advances in medical care in Cuba are testaments of Fidel Castro’s legacies in the country. The legacies have attracted the establishment of many medical centers which all contribute to the vision of improving access to medical care in Cuba. Beyond Cuba, Castro’s vision helps to extend standard medical care to other countries as a means of promoting peace and development. The years and the progressive nature of medical tourism in the country have been aligned to the overall vision and Cubans and foreign nationals benefit from Cuba’s promotion of medical care access to individuals.
Contained COVID-19: One of the key factors to consider before choosing a country for medical care is the level of coronavirus containment in the country. The global pandemic has disrupted the physical flow of activities including the medical line and new normal is just returning to many countries. It’s thus considered essential to know the COVID-19 containment level of a country before deciding to seek medical attention in the country. In Cuba, COVID-19 has been contained effectively with a record of over 60 percent population vaccination. Cuba has devised medical innovation and ingenuity to manufacture five COVID-19 vaccines and the production has improved mass vaccination in the country. The availability of the vaccines has helped restore physical activities in different sectors of Cuban economy as well as its medical sector. The Cuban government ensures adequate quarantine for foreigners seeking medical care and this helps to identify those who might have contacted the virus before getting into the country. Also, beyond quarantine, there’s consistent monitoring of the inflow and outflow of medical care seekers in Cuba by designated government officials and this contributes to maximal containment of coronavirus in the country. Seeking medical attention in Cuba is safe because medical practitioners are fully vaccinated, and regularly adhere to COVID-19 rules and protocols in receiving and attending to patients. The effective containment of COVID-19 in Cuba places the island nation in the league of countries that have recorded such tremendous feats including the United States, the United Kingdom and Germany.
High availability of medical experts: Cuba leads in ophthalmology care because there’s a growing potential and advancement in the medical space in the country. Medical doctors are massively available and getting medical attention doesn’t require having to queue. Cuban government’s investment in medicine is playing out well as medical universities in the country allow medical students to learn by practice and provide medical services while competently turning out well-trained doctors annually. The inclusion of medical scholarship in the Cuban medical curriculum has helped to attract the best minds to the discipline and this has translated into massive graduation of medical students into the medical profession and practice in the country. Specialists in subareas of ophthalmology are available in Cuba and getting eye care treatment and surgery of all kinds has become seamless and more effective because of the high numbers of medical doctors available to provide medical services. Medical experts in Cuba are effectively implementing the outcomes of medical research. The implementation has reduced dependence on traditional techniques but now on Cuban manufactured technologies, and drugs.
Accessing ophthalmology care is sensitive just as the visual system of the body. The eye isn’t available for trial and error and as such requires medical experts with proven track records to treat and operate as the case may be. In providing eye care, treatment and surgery, Cuba has reached a huge milestone with over 50 years of effective medical services on global standards. The Ramon Pando Ferrer Cuban Institute of Ophthalmology is the leading ophthalmology center in Cuba with excellent surgery and eye care records and testaments from Cuban and foreign nationals. The Institute has world-class eye –treating facilities and top-rated ophthalmologists who are actively attending to patients and also researching in diverse subareas of ophthalmology to improve medical excellence and care.