PIETERMARITZBURG– KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Sibongiseni Dhomo has asked the national government to recruit Cuban doctors to train South African medical students.
Addressing the Finance Portfolio Committee in Pietermaritzburg, Dhlomo said he believed it would be more cost effective to bring Cuban doctors to South Africa to train local students than to send them to Cuba.
Dhlomo told committee members the programme in which South African students were being trained in Cuba was expensive, but he stressed that the form of training received by students was second to none.
“I have made my request to both [Health Minister] Dr Aaaron Motsoaledi and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande that we get Cuban professionals to conduct the training of our students in this country because it is the most cost-effective method of training when you can get 20 professional to train 400 students.”
He said he had recently visited Angola where such a programme is operating.
Dhlomo said he believed that such a programme would be the answer to the shortage of doctors.
“What do you do in order to train a doctor? You need a teacher, student and patient and we have these here in the province,” said Dhlomo.
“It is the best training in the world, they [Cubans] do not have malaria, there is no TB and women are not dying during the childbirth, and that is the best outcome the world over,” he said.
The project of sending South Africans to Cuba to study medicine has been in the spotlight recently after some students were expelled in that country for failing to honour the conditions of their contracts.
Some of the students were said to be “praying and preaching” for most of the day leading to a drop in their academic performance.