Bringing in Cuban doctors is ‘premature’ – Medical association

At least 217 Cuban health specialists arrive in South Africa to support efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19 on April 26 2020.
Image: GCIS

The South African Medical Association (Sama) says the arrival of over 200 medical specialists from Cuba is a “little bit premature”.

“We always need expertise from other people and it is always welcome to have them on board and in our country, but for now I think it is a bit premature.

“So far we have managed quite well without outside help,” Sama chairperson Dr Angelique Coetzee said on the SAfm Sunrise show with Stephen Grootes.

The group of medical doctors from Cuba arrived in the country on Monday.

The group consists of experts in epidemiology, biostatistics, and public health, family physicians, health care technology engineers and experts to provide technical assistance.

Coetzee said there were many retired doctors in the country that could have played a key role in mentoring younger doctors during the outbreak.

“Only when you have exhausted all your internal resources, then it could be prudent to get people from the outside in.

“You can bring in all the doctors, but if people don’t adhere to the rules it defies the whole purpose.

We are not unhappy that there are doctors coming in; we just say that it is premature and that we must first look at our own resources and look at our own people.

“It is quite a lot of money and we could have probably spent that money a little bit better,” Coetzee said.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize on Monday evening said the total number of Covid-19 infections in the country stood at 4,793 the total number of deaths reached 90.




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