Cuban medicine to introduce its best practices in Ulyanovsk region

As a result of bilateral negotiations, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Republic of Cuba and the Ulyanovsk region in Moscow on 28 May. The document provides for cooperation in biotechnologies, academic exchanges and trainings in the field of medical sciences.


The foreign delegation was headed by Marcia Cobas Ruiz, Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Cuba. By order of Governor Sergey Morozov, the Ulyanovsk region was represented by Linar Zaripov, Deputy Minister of Healthcare, and Ekaterina Smoroda, Minister for Development of International and Interregional Relations.

“We continue negotiations regarding development of the bilateral partnership. The Governor and Mr. Gerardo Peñalver Portal, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Cuba in the Russian Federation, have met twice. The main topics of the last meeting, which took place in March, included trade and economic cooperation in the automotive industry and energy production, as well as strengthening of interaction in humanitarian and cultural spheres. Healthcare and biopharmaceutics are the priority areas of cooperation with the Republic for both our region and Russia in general”, – Ekaterina Smoroda said.

Within negotiations in Moscow, the parties considered establishing offices of Cuban pharmaceutical companies in the Ulyanovsk region, as well as organizing professional exchanges and joint events to introduce modern biotechnologies. Representatives of the Cuban delegation indicated their eagerness to assist their Ulyanovsk colleagues in development of a comprehensive programme to increase longevity within the national project "Zdravoohranenie" (Healthcare). Other important topics included localization of an international clinical hub at the Federal Hi-Tech Center of Medical Radiology in Dimitrovgrad and implementation of advanced radiopharmaceutical technologies.

“We pay a great deal of attention to international cooperation and we are in contact with many foreign clinics. The region has been successfully cooperating with Mayo Clinic (the USA) and Gedeon Richter (Hungary) for several years. Recently we have signed a partnership agreement with Japan Science and Technology Agency and Food and Health Kukurete. I hope that our cooperation with the Republic of Cuba will develop dynamically. Its key spheres will include disease prevention for protection of public health, exchange of best practices in training and professional development of medical personnel, and implementation of new technologies. These tasks were set by the President in national projects "Zdravoohranenie" (Healthcare) and "Demografiya" (Demography) and are of top priority for us for”, – Linar Zaripov commented.

“Cuba is among 40 countries where child mortality is lower than in the USA. Thanks to the unified health system, life expectancy is 76 years, which is one of the best indicators in the world. Preventive treatment is the priority sphere. Cuban doctors have achieved worldwide recognition in orthopaedics, treatment of meningitis, hepatitis B, breast cancer, and Parkinson's disease. I think that this experience can be very useful to our colleagues from the Ulyanovsk region. Cuban experts need innovative practices of their Russian colleagues, and the Ulyanovsk region has a lot of them", - said Marcia Cobas Ruiz, Deputy Minister of Health of the Republic of Cuba.

The World Health Organization estimates that Cuban medicine is one of the best in the world. According to foreign colleagues, each citizen of Cuba has a family physician who provides basic health care and sends patients to specific medical specialists or to a hospital if the situation requires it. All medical care is free of charge including the most complicated medical surgeries. This has been made possible because Cuba uses half of its currency earnings for health care. Revenues from sales of medical products provide impressive amounts of money for the country's budget. Cuba also supplies foreign hospitals, policlinics and mobile medical units with complete sets of equipment. Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) trains young doctors all around the world. Since its establishment in 1998, more than 20,000 medical specialists have graduated from ELAM in more than 123 countries.