In December 1989 a team of British doctors visited the Gerson hospital in Mexico as professional observers. The team, consisting of Drs. Nicholas James, Alison Reed, and Karol Sikora, came on a grant from a major medical insurance company in Great Britain, the British United Provident Association (BUPA). The team conducted two separate studies: a review of possible cures on record and a psychological profile of inpatients who were undergoing therapy at the time the team visited.
The US government states that since 1992, 36 out of 39 license requests from . companies and their subsidiaries for sales of medical items to Cuba have been approved. The dollar amount of these sales is over $1,600,000. Furthermore, the . government licensed more than $227 million in humanitarian donations of medicines and medical supplies to Cuba between 1993 and 1997. There are other factors beside the embargo explaining the lack of imports, in particular Cuba's lack of hard currency. Those with dollars can easily buy medicines and food in Cuba from Latin America and Canada. Cuba defaulted on its debt to Western banks in 1986 and lacks access to the international credit system in order to get foreign currency. In addition, the collapse of the Soviet Union caused the loss of several billions of dollars in yearly subsidies and overnight required hard currency for all imports.