News and Facts about Cuba

Cuban medical training way more costly than local option

Cuban medical training way more costly than local option
By RDM News Wire | Jul 22, 2015

The Gauteng government will spend “more than R5-million” over six years
on each student it sends to study medicine in Cuba‚ the Democratic
Alliance (DA) claimed on Wednesday.

That’s based on calculations the DA’s Jack Bloom has done following
MEC Qedani Mahlangu’s revelation in the legislature that the
provincial health department “is spending R70.5-million this year on 80
students to study medicine in Cuba”.

This‚ said Bloom‚ “is much higher than the cost of training doctors in
South Africa”.

Fewer students were sent to Cuba in 2015 than in previous years‚ but‚
said Bloom‚ “at a lower average cost per student: 2012 — 105 students at
a cost of R25.6-million‚ 2013 — 115 students at a cost of R33-million‚
2014 — 138 students at a cost of R37.2-million”.

“The of Cape Town estimated in 2012 that it cost R1.3-million
to a South African doctor in 6 years‚” said Bloom.

“In previous years‚ it has cost about R1.6 million to train a doctor in
Cuba‚ excluding the cost of extra training in South Africa.”

Students returning from Cuba have to do an extra two years of
integration studies at a local medical university.

“The figure spent this year is much higher‚ at about R875000 per
student‚ which over six years would amount to more than R5 million‚”
Bloom expanded.

“Whatever the true cost‚ it is substantially higher than in local
medical schools.”

Bloom said the DA-run Western Cape health department had declined to
send students to study in Cuba‚ and he urged it Gauteng counterpart to
review its “doctor training programme in Cuba as the money is better
spent in increasing the local capacity to train doctors”.

“Local training is also shorter and geared to local conditions‚” he said.

“Our priority is surely to train more doctors locally rather than paying
another country an exorbitant amount for a course taught in a foreign
language that still requires an extra two years local training.”

Source: Cuban medical training way more costly than local option –
Sowetan LIVE –

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