National 27.7.2016 10:29 am

Gauteng health department imports Cuban doctors

The Gauteng Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu. Picture: Roodepoort Northsider

The Gauteng Health MEC, Qedani Mahlangu. Picture: Roodepoort Northsider

Recruiting Cuban doctors would alleviate some of the burdens faced within the health sector, the Gauteng health MEC said.

Faced with a shortage of staff across the province, Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu was happy to announce that doctors from Cuba have been appointed in hospitals.

“It is indeed a great pleasure for me to welcome Cuban medical specialists to Gauteng. Cubans have been friends with South Africa during its struggle and continue to be our partners, especially in the health sector,” said Mahlangu on Friday.

Mahlangu, welcomed 25 Cuban medical specialists at an induction ceremony at Garden Court, OR Tambo International Airport.

Mahlangu, welcomed 25 Cuban medical specialists at an induction ceremony at Garden Court, OR Tambo International Airport.

She said staff shortages resulted in work overload and ineffective health service delivery, which, more often than not, contributed to poor health and hygiene outcomes and public dissatisfaction. Recruiting Cuban doctors would alleviate some of the burdens faced within the health sector, Roodepoort Northsider reported.

The MEC said South Africa had a shortage of health professionals. A total of 25% of newly qualified undergraduate and postgraduate health professionals did not enter the public health sector after qualification.

“There has been a notable trend for South African-trained health professionals to locate to countries overseas, including the UK, Canada, the USA and the Middle East,” she said.

She said following the advent of the new democratic dispensation, fresh and progressive policies were introduced with the aim of transforming the inherited healthcare system into an integrated, sustainable and comprehensive national healthcare system.

“Despite these efforts and significant investments, the South African health sector is still plagued with key challenges including a complex, quadruple burden of diseases such as tuberculosis, HIV/Aids, high infant and maternal mortality rates, and high levels of trauma resulting from injuries and violence, as well as non-communicable diseases,” she added.

Mahlangu spoke to the Cuban doctors about the serious concerns regarding the quality of the overburdened public healthcare system.

“Your presence at our clinics should alleviate pressure at our hospitals; our people believe in consulting with medical practitioners. This partnership is a crucial form of intervention,” added Mahlangu.

– Caxton News Service

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