25 April 2016
South African medical students in Cuba making a name for themselves
25th of April 2016
Readers of my series about Apartheid will know how I mentioned that the unique medical university of South Africa (MEDUNSA) qualified 200 black doctors of world quality every year as well as paramedics and nurses.
The ANC renamed it to Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU). Ironically the black students rioted in 2014 against this name change, but also against lecturers failing them.
Of course when the ANC came to power they thought they could do better than the Apartheid government and as could be expected with everything the ANC touches, it was a total balls-up.
Instead of investing in South Africa’s already excellent medical schools, in 1995 the ANC signed an agreement with Cuba to train “disadvantaged” blacks as medical doctors at huge costs of $60,000 (R840,000) per student…and in Spanish. There is currently 1200 of them over there. They are also flown home annually for a holiday.
Nevertheless…from the outset there were problems. Sexual immorality, pregnancies and partying…The Cubans complained that students would arrive late for classes, if at all. Some failed due to bunking too many classes. They would frequently go on drinking binges and then get involved in fights with the locals. One was stabbed to death by a group of Cubans after a street fight broke out when Cubans wouldn’t allow them into a bar saying they were full of themselves and always getting into fights.
The South African students then complained about the food (too much pork and not enough steak) and their stipend of $200 that was too small to buy booze and fast food. They demanded $700…the same as what the children of diplomats got. When this was refused they started smuggling Cuban cigars to South Africa to earn extra money.
Department of Health spokesperson Joe Maila claimed that the students wanted to buy “goodies and party” and were “spoilt”.
Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande – who is also leader of the South African Communist Party and has close links with Cuba was ouraged. "I condemn it in the strongest terms," Nzimande said.
He added that the "sense of entitlement and lack of gratitude" was "totally unacceptable".
With the bit of money that the studens had they flew in a pastor from a Christian sect in KZN called the “Threshing Floor Bible Church” ( I kid you not).
When Pastor Sipho Maduna arrived he started blessing and anointing the students ordaining them into “disciples”, “prophets”, “evangelists”, etc.
It didn’t take long before the Cuban government complained to the South African government that the students had become a “nuisance”, disrupting traffic and stopping cars and by preaching in busy streets trying to convert the locals.
KwaZulu-Natal’s Health MEC, Sibongiseni Dhlomo, and a clinical psychologist jetted off to Cuba to try and get the students back on track, but they were laughed off by the students.
Praying students laugh off Health MEC
It was not the first time. In 2013 the health department dispatched a team including a social worker, psychologist, human resources manager and doctor to “assist the students”.
To crown it all, according to the South African medical journal these students who “qualify” as doctors in Cuba are completely useless when they come back to South Africa and do not even trust themselves to do a Caesarean section. They can hardly give a safe anaesthetic or treat fractures let alone treat complicated TB and HIV cases. They are more trained in preventative primary health care instead of the curative health care needed in South Africa.
They have studied in Spanish and need to be retrained for 12-18 months to learn the English terms. After five years they still have to write their South African final exam. So far, the local failure rate of Cuban-trained students is nearly double that of those trained in South Africa.
Of course if the ANC governed properly and didn’t allow crime and corruption to get out of control…if only they didn’t start Affirmative Action and racial quotas for medical students at our local universities, the country would not have had a shortage of doctors in the first place. The ANC chased them all overseas.