This week South Africa saw the arrival of over 200 Cuban medical doctors in a bid to help fight coronavirus in the country.
According to Business Day, the overall ‘projected costs’ for 187 of the Cuban medical doctors will cost R440m.
In the documents shown in one of their articles, the average cost per person was R2.35m.
Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize reassured the health industry that these doctors were not coming over to take their jobs, they were brought over to strengthen and increase the current South African medical human power.
“We welcome the Cuban doctors and want to assure everybody they will not take anybody’s post. They have come to assist us and they will be working alongside South Africans,” he said.
SA Medical Association
The SA Medical Association has spoken out and expressed their concerns regarding the plan of bringing Cuban medical experts into South Africa.
The association has said that South Africa has many retired doctors that could be brought back to work [voluntarily] to strengthen human power.
The United Kingdom has followed a similar approach and granted retired medical professions the opportunity to return to work to help stomp the virus.
“The GMC has granted temporary registration to additional doctors under its emergency powers, so that they are able to help with the coronavirus pandemic.” said British Medical Association
Democratic Alliance Response
The Democratic Alliance today released a statement suggesting if the approach was a justifiable and good use of public resources.
The Party has submitted an inquiry to Parliament to discover if the choice was justifiable and to discover where the funding is coming from.
“Many provinces are stretched to their absolute limits with many unfilled critical vacancies. It would be irresponsible to expect funds to be redirected to funding the deployment of these doctors.” said the DA
“Every effort must be made to wage a fight against the spread of this pandemic. Additionally, we welcome any additional resources being provided. However, we must make sure that South African health professionals are not being overlooked in the Covid-19 strategy.”