Guest post by Dr. Nancy Dirrubo, DNP, FNP and travel health expert. More about Nancy below:
Few businesses thrive without more than one revenue stream. Primary care practices add cash only services such as cosmetic dermatology. Some practices sublet space to other providers and collect rental income and benefit from increased exposure. As an NP business owner who owns a travel clinic, I also offer hard to find travel products and provide continuing education with a new twist. Travel.
Imagine getting CEU’s for a unique educational experience where you will rarely see a power point slide. Where you get to observe, discuss, question, and interact and come out thinking in new ways about some big problems. “Health Care in Cuba” is an international, intercultural program where a small group of us will see how Cuba went from sugar plantations, playboy playgrounds, rebels and revolutions to an emerging small island country with health outcomes that are equal to or surpass industrialized countries (as measured by the World Health Organization).
How do they accomplish this? Over 40 years ago they figured out that investing in primary care was the biggest bang for their dollar. With very tight financial constraints, their solutions to health care problems was to fix the system. They set up primary care teams of physicians and nurses working together in communities of up to 130 families. Individuals are patients seen within families, within communities that are part of the districts and the country. And all of this stems from the primary care physician and nurse team. So, the community itself is also their patient. They observe public health issues and watch for patterns of communicable diseases. When a public health problem is identified, a plan to intervene for that community is put in place.
The physician/nurse team has a clinic in the community. They make house calls. They are required to live in their neighborhoods, too. Secondary care is provided at the regional polyclinics where lab, imaging, PT, OT, dentistry and complementary medicine such as acupuncture are available. Complimentary medicine is included in the medical and nursing school curricula. If tertiary care is needed it is provided in the larger cities and includes surgery and specialty care. ON this trip we will and meet with Cuban health officials, nurses, urban planners and visit community clinics, a maternity home, elder care facility, a CAM clinic and talk with gay rights advocates. We will experience Cuban culture, art, cuisine, and music.
So what can we learn from a country that spends 96% less on health care than we do? “Health Care in Cuba” November 6-13, 2015 registration ends July 31. www.travelhealthnh.com. Where should we travel next?
Dr. Nancy Dirubbo, family nurse practitioner is an avid traveler and the founder of Travel Health of New Hampshire. In addition to traveling and working with travelers, she speaks and teaches other healthcare providers about travel health and how they can add travel health services to their practice, or indeed create a travel health business of their own. You can learn more at www.travelhealthnh.com