R1 699 stipend adequate for SA medical students in Cuba - YCL

League says returnees should be made to pay back R500 000 that has been spent on them

YCL disappointed with the South African medical students returning from Cuba

The Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] is disappointed by the decision of the South African medical students to return from Cuba following a disagreement over their allowance. The Department of Health had spent half a million rand already on each student's training, which will have been wasted as they had not completed their training yet.

We are puzzled as to why the stipend of R1 600 per month was insufficient for the students when accommodation and food was provided for them. South Africa has a shortage of doctors and with limited places for students who are studying medicine, every medical student should realise the role they play in securing the future of South Africa's health.

Hundreds of thousands of people globally aspire to be doctors yet do not have the opportunity to study medicine. As Cuba has one of the premier health care systems in the world, studying medicine in the country is indeed an honour. We are confident that the remaining South African medical students will show gratitude for the opportunities given to them by the South African and Cuban governments.

As the YCLSA we demand that these students pay back the half a million that the government spent on each student.

Statement issued by YCL Head Office, March 8 2013 

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