Gauteng spends R30m on Cuban doctors – Jack Bloom

DA MP says dept still employs 14 of these doctors who earn between R78 000 and R91 000 a month

Gauteng spends R30 million on Cuban doctors

3 March 2022

The Gauteng Health Department spent R30.3 million on Cuban doctors last year, and still employs 14 Cuban doctors who earn between R78 000 and R91 000 a month.

This is revealed by Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to my questions in the Gauteng Legislature.

According to Mokgethi, the 14 Cuban doctors are at Primary Health Care facilities. She says they are employed:

“because of a government-to-government agreement entered into by South Africa in 1996. Cuba as a country is known for having the best health outcomes and their experience in prevention and health promotion would assist in strengthening the District Health System. The Cuban National Doctors also serve as mentors and coaches for the doctors who are placed at Primary Health Care facilities especially the South African Cuban trained doctors.”

There were originally 28 Cuban doctors who were hired in May 2020 for a one-year contract which expired in May last year, and it is disappointing that the department still employs 14 of them when local doctors are unemployed.

I doubt whether they add expertise that is not available locally. Some of them do not speak English well and they are not familiar with local health conditions.

Government money should be spent on South Africans rather than wasted on Cuban doctors and expensive Cuban medical training which is being probed for suspected corruption.

This misplaced loyalty to the despotic Cuban government is as immoral as the ANC’s inability to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Issued by Jack Bloom, DA Gauteng Shadow MEC for Health, 3 March 2022