The largest group of Cuban-trained doctors to graduate under the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Medical Collaboration (NMFCMC) Programme since its inception in 1996 has been encouraged to drive change in their communities.
Image source: Getty/Gallo
The 87 South African medical doctors graduated at the Walter Sisulu University in Mthatha, Eastern Cape, on Friday.
The Rector of the University of Medical Sciences of Havana, Luis Alberto Pisch Garcia, conferred the degrees. The event was also attended by the deans of local medical schools, MECs and HODs of health, hospital CEOs and families of the graduates.
“Many doctors who have qualified through this programme have progressed to become specialists in various medical fields. One notable achievement is that of a doctor from the Eastern Cape, who made history when she became the first African female cardiothoracic surgeon in the country,” said the Deputy Minister of Health, Joe Phaahla in his keynote address.
This brings to 731 the number of medical doctors who have graduated from the programme and currently employed in various public hospitals around the country.
The health department said this is a major boost not only for increasing the output of medical employees and strengthening primary healthcare, but also for the success of the National Health Insurance (NHI).
The medical training programme was founded in an attempt to complement and increase the production of medical doctors in South Africa.
The rural under-served communities, where the department has always struggled to attract medical practitioners, stand to benefit from this initiative, as the doctors are expected to serve the communities they come from.
The new doctors completed five years of medical studies in Cuba and one year of clinical training in the country’s universities as part of their integration into the South African health system.
SAnews.gov.za SAnews.gov.za is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). SAnews.gov.za (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates. Go to: http://www.sanews.gov.za
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