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Cuban medical training costs more than double than in SA

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) says the annual cost of doctor training in Cuba is R331,000 per person – more than double what it would cost at a local medical school, and it takes a year longer, reports The Citizen. The Free State government has its own bilateral agreement with Cuba to train the province’s doctors, with the provincial health department having spent R57m on this programme.

The Free State government has its own bilateral agreement with Cuba to train the province’s doctors, with the provincial health department having spent R57m on this programme.

The programme has come under fire, with the DA claiming the annual cost of training a South African to become a doctor in Cuba is R331,000 – more than double what it would cost at a local medical school, and it takes longer. The party claimed training a doctor in Cuba takes six years, including a year learning Spanish, and that the students have to spend a final year at a medical school in South Africa.

“This means that the full cost to train a doctor on the Cuban programme amounts to about R2 136 000 compared to R900 000 in South Africa in a shorter time,” says the DA’s Jack Bloom.

Bloom said the Gauteng health department had budgeted about R130 million this year for 400 medical students in Cuba, money which would be better spent expanding training at the three medical schools in the province.

Free State Health spokesperson Mondli Mvambi said in the report that they were expecting a positive yield from the investment because the Cuban-trained doctors would not have had a chance in South Africa due to limited space in medical schools.

The Citizen report

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