Sipho Mabena
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
29 Apr 2020
6:00 am

Cuban doctors ‘cost R440m’, while local ones sit without work

Sipho Mabena

Government has come under fire for the employment – at an alleged cost of R440 million – of Cuban doctors to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak when many medical graduates in South Africa are unable to secure work.

More than 200 Cuban health professionals touched down in South Africa in the early hours of Monday morning, 27 April 2020. Image: Facebook/Presidency of the Republic of South Africa

The Cuban doctors’ R440 million alleged price tag has raised eyebrows, with government slated for going for foreign medics prematurely when there were local retired and unemployed health professionals, as well as those who had to shut their practices due to the lockdown. According to a leaked document, which the health department would not confirm nor deny, the chartered flight for the 187 Cuban medics that arrived this week cost the taxpayer R9.9 million. The Cuban health brigade will also set back the taxpayer R294.5 million in salaries for 12 months, with more than R12 million set to be spent...