Cuban doctors brought in

2014-02-05 00:00

THE provincial health department has brought in 14 Cuban specialist doctors to practice mostly in rural areas.

The doctors, who specialise in plastic and reconstructive surgery, maxillofacial surgery, ear, nose and throat (ENT), urology and general surgery, will be in the province for an unspecified period.

Department spokesperson Desmond Motha said the doctors will be around “for more than a year”.

MEC for Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo introduced the doctors during the official take over of McCord Hospital on Saturday. “This is a result of the Cuba- South Africa agreement to assist us in health care matters and in the production of more doctors. These doctors will ply their services in the rural areas where local specialists refuse to go,” said Dhlomo in a statement.

He said the eight South African medical schools produced only 1 200 doctors annually and that only a fraction of these end up in public healthcare institutions.

“Until the plus 1 000 medical students sent to Cuba last year come back as qualified doctors, the situation will remain dire for rural communities,” he said.

The specialists will practice in the Amajuba, Umgungundlovu, Umzinyathi, Uthungulu and Zululand District Munici­palities.

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