Cuba crisis to hit NHI

2016-01-19 10:35
(File, iStock)

(File, iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pietermaritzburg - The actions of the Cuban medical students accused of evangelising on street corners in the island state could affect the rollout of the National Health Insurance.

Leading medical health academics have said that while educating South African medical students in Cuba is “not ideal”, SA needs to vastly increase the number of doctors working in the country in order for the NHI to work.

Earlier this month The Witness reported that Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo announced he would travel to Cuba to “engage with KZN students adversely affected by a religious sect”.

The “sect” being referred to was allegedly the work of Pietermaritzburg pastor Apostle Sipho Maduna from the Threshing Floors Bible Church.

Maduna was accused of preaching to the students, taking them away from studying and instead committing them to seven hours of prayer and ministering to Cuban locals a day.

According to the Health Department, one student had become “mentally disturbed” as a result of the sermons.

The church has also been blamed for the students’ high failure rate. The Health Department said 26 KZN students had failed their academic year and a further 22 faced exclusion due to being absent for more than 20% of class attendance days. The church has denied all the allegations, claiming it is being used as a “scapegoat”.

Dhlomo, who returned from Cuba last week, told The Witness via SMS that a report would need to be tabled before the provincial executive before he could make a statement.

South African Medical Association (Sama) vice chairperson Dr Mark Sonderup said the medical programme in Cuba was complex. “It is not sustainable in the long run. In the future, we would need to look at training medical students in South Africa or at other SADC institutions. The patient profile in Botswana and Zimbabwe is similar to what we have here,” said Sonderup.

He said the disease profile in Cuba was vastly different to that in South Africa. Cuba had almost no HIV/Aids patients and focused on preventative healthcare whereas SA dealt with management of disease. Up to 80% of the illnesses of all patients seeking care in South Africa were HIV-related.

Dr Yusuf Veriava, who has advised the state for several years on medical issues and has been involved in the RSA/Cuba medical programme, now known as the Nelson Mandela/Fidel Castro Medical Collaboration, said the programme was a “stop-gap” needed for South Africa to reach its “primary health goals” as envisaged by the NHI.

“By 2018 South Africa should have between 800 and 1 000 new doctors who were trained in Cuba working across the country. Our issue is that we are short of doctors. For us to meet the goals of the national health insurance, more doctors are needed,” said Veriava.

In 2013 the South African Medical Journal reported the Cuban programme would produce 1 000 undergraduates annually from 2018. Cuba currently produces 11 000 graduates annually, compared to SA’s approximately 1 300. South Africa currently has nearly 900 students studying medicine in Cuba.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  health  |  doctor

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.