Cuban medical training under scrutiny in South Africa

Medical school class in Havana
Medical school class in Havana

The return to South Africa of several medical students who were displeased with their training and living conditions  in Castrogonia continues to attract the attention of the South African press.

And it appears that some in South Africa and neighboring countries seem to be gaining awareness of the medical school scam foisted on third-world countries by the Castro Kingdom.

Some sharp-eyed critics are actually calling for an end to this farce, which has flooded some African nations with second-rate doctors.

From The New Age (South Africa)

The Cuba question: to go or not?

The South Africa-Cuba medical training programme has come under the spotlight following the debacle around six local students who cut short their studies in Cuba and returned home recently.

The six students were part of the 187 grouping that boycotted classes and embarked on a hunger strike while demanding an increase in their monthly stipend from $200 (R1800) to $700. The students complained about their diet which comprised mainly rice and pork.

After the health department refused to meet the students demands, some opted to come home, wasting more than R2m.

The Cuban training programme costs the government R500000 per student over a six-year period.

From the outset, when the programme was launched about 15 years ago to address the shortage of doctors in South Africa, there has been criticism from some quarters.

The latest saga has renewed calls for a review of the programme.

A medical school professor who did not want to be named said an alternative to training more doctors should be found, instead of sending students to Cuba.

“The Cuban burden of disease is different to that of South Africa. Cuban-trained doctors are not trained to deal with diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV-Aids that we have here.

He argued that the programme was more about politics and the close relationship between Cuba and the ANC government than the quality of training in Cuba.

“The students are in the middle of a political football. Some students did not pass exams which they have to write on their return .

“Why don’t we train these students in African countries, especially in the Southern African region?” he asked.

The professor said by continuing with the training programme, the government was “creating second-class doctors. We have created a second-tier system of doctors in one country”.

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