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Cuban Medical Training, Not a Panacea
Tuesday, August 30, 2005   By: Juan Paxety

South Africa rethinking its medical student program with Cuba

South Africa is rethinking it's program of sending students to Cuba for medical training. in Cape Town reports:

Mpumalanga's department of health and social services is reconsidering its Cuban medical student programme.

Spokesperson Mpho Gabashane said the programme wasn't always financially viable and that only 12 of the 23 students sent to Cuba in 1997 and 1998 were working at state hospitals in the province.

"It's still early, but a decision has to be made if the programme will continue or not," he said.

10 of 13 students in the 1998 class were brought back before the end of their studies. Gabashane they did a poor job of selecting the students to go, then made this interesting comment

"Some of the students thought they were going to a country like England, or a democracy.

15 medical students who went to Cuba in 2001 got to come home recently for the first time. They ate lunch with  Premier Thabang Makwetla who praised their efforts.

The feast was a real treat for the students, who have lived on mainly vegetarian fare for the past three years.

"In Cuba we always eat rice and beans, no meat," said Africa Manzini.

He said the students had spent the holiday trying to catch up with all the new developments in South Africa, especially the technological advances like those in the cellphone industry.

Very, very interesting. South African students have to return home to learn of technological advances. No meat. Not a democracy. The legacy of fidel's workers' paradise.


(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren