OVER 200 Cuban healthcare workers landed in South Africa on Monday, the latest of more than 20 medical brigades it has sent worldwide to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
The team, made up of doctors and specialists, will be deployed across the country.
But a Doctor who spoke on condition of anonymity says she’s against the idea since her colleagues also possess the same skills as those Cuban Doctors.
Although having no problem towards the visiting Doctors unless it’s a specialised skill, she says the South African Gvt should at least prioritised locals.
“I and my colleagues have no gripe towards the Cubans, but our Government and health department should have approached and given us the first priority, since we have more knowledge from the SA health system than anyone,” she decried.
“Yes, they’re here to lend a hand to an already depleted health workforce and if only it’s a specialised skill; but we as Doctors in our country aren’t satisfied the way we’ve been treated by the public health system,” she said without detailing those concerns.
Cuba has sent around 1,200 healthcare workers largely to vulnerable African and Caribbean nations, but also to rich European countries such as Italy that have been particularly hard hit by the novel coronavirus.
“These are times of solidarity and cooperation. If we act together, we can halt the spread of coronavirus in a faster and more cost-effective manner,” Cuba’s ambassador to South Africa, Rodolfo Benítez Verson, said in a statement.
Cuba has more than 37,000 healthcare workers in 67 countries worldwide, according to the foreign ministry.
“The advantage of Cuba is that they are a community health model, one that we would like to use,” Health Minister Zweli Mkhize told a news briefing earlier this month.
The opposition party Democratic Alliance also supported the move but asked why the locals Doctors were not given priority and at what cost would these entail since taxpayers would foot the bill?
The red-beret EFF has welcomed the Cubans.
Denosa and other orgainisations have questioned the move.
Image Sipho MALUKA (Cuban Doctors arrived in SA at Warterkloof Airbase- this morning to try and curb the spread of Covid-19. They were welcomed by DIRCO Minister Dr Naledi Pandor and Cuban Ambassador to SA Rodolfo Benítez Verson (right).