'Don't be alarmed', MEC tells Cuban doctors

2016-06-24 23:19
Cuban doctors. (Supplied)

Cuban doctors. (Supplied)

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Johannesburg – Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu has told a group of visiting Cuban doctors not be alarmed by the current spate of protests.

“South Africa is a peaceful country. We are in an election period, don’t be alarmed by pockets of protests, the phase will pass and we will be back to normal,” she said at an event to welcome them to the country on Friday.

“We repudiate the current violent protest as a means for political ends. We expect all this to quieten down within 2 months,” she said, according to notes provided by her spokesperson.

The Cubans were in the country for three years to alleviate pressure on public hospitals in Gauteng. They would work mainly in the district health service.

She said there was a huge shortage of doctors, which resulted in ineffective health services, which contributed to poor health outcomes and public dissatisfaction.

A quarter of newly-qualified undergraduate and postgraduate health professionals in South Africa did not enter the public health sector after qualification.

Many were emigrating overseas to countries like the UK, Canada, USA, and the Middle East, she said.
In order for South Africa to have the same doctors per population ratio as a country like Brazil, an additional 60 000 doctors would have to be trained.

Despite great efforts to improve matters, and significant investment, the South African health sector was still confronted by many problems. These included a complex, quadruple burden of diseases like HIV/Aids and tuberculosis, high infant and maternal mortality rates, high levels of trauma resulting from injuries and violence, and non-communicable diseases.

(Supplied)


Read more on:    qedani mahlangu  |  cuba  |  johannesburg  |  health

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