R32m spent on Cuban doctors fighting Covid-19 in Gauteng
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PRETORIA – More than R32 million has been spent towards 28 Cuban doctors who were attached to the Gauteng Department of Health, assisting in the fight against Covid-19.
“The total cost incurred by the Department of Health during the deployment period was R32 500 212 – which was inclusive of remuneration, accommodation and transport. The team of 28 was contracted for a year (between 15 May 2020 – 30 May 2021) and that has since come to an end,” said Gauteng health department spokesperson Kwara Kekana.
She said as the tenure of the Cuban specialists came to an end, the department was grateful for the work done by members of the Cuban Medical Brigade.
“The Gauteng Department of Health wishes to thank the Cuban Medical Brigade that was deployed to the Gauteng province as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The 28 Cuban Medical Brigade that was deployed in the province were part of the government-to-government agreement entered into by the South African and Cuban governments,” Kekana said.
She said members of the Cuban Medical Brigade were part of a diverse category of workers whose area of work included advisory, health data specialists, public health specialists, consulting with patients and total health-care delivery.
“Cuba is known for having the best health outcomes and their experiences in prevention and health promotion area. Their efforts were therefore to assist in the fight against Covid-19, sharing best practices and experiences from their own country,” Kekana said.
The department thanked the health-care workers “who have been the real heroes of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic”.
“The health-care system has been tested in many ways during this period, but it has shown its resilience due to the dedication of the many men and women who have dedicated themselves to saving lives,” said Kekana.
In May last year, the former Gauteng MEC for Health Bandile Masuku welcomed the 28 Cuban doctors, who were part of the more than 200 members of the Cuban Medical Brigade who arrived in South Africa to help fight Covid-19.
– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher