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Mkhize: Cuban doctors are not in SA to steal local doctors' jobs

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said that government needed all the help they could get to fight COVID-19. He said the 217 Cuban doctors were in the country to help and not replace SA doctors.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed 217 Cuban health professionals who are in the country to support efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize on Tuesday said that the Cuban doctors who were brought into the country to assist with curbing the spread of COVID-19 did not come to steal local doctors' jobs.

The 217 Cuban doctors touched down in South Africa this week to assist with government’s response plan to the health emergency.

According to Business Day, the arrangement was set to cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of rand.

Local doctors have also complained that they were being overlooked at a time when thousands of qualified medical personnel were looking for jobs in this country.

Mkhize said that government needed all the help they could get to fight COVID-19. He said the Cuban doctors were in the country to help and not replace SA doctors.

“It’s important to say that the Cuban doctors are coming at our request to reinforce, particularly because they’ve got particular strength in the case of community medicine,” he said.

The minister said some of the local health practitioners were not registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).

“You have to register through the HPCSA, you can’t practice unless you are registered,” he said.

Mkhize said government would use all available resources at its disposal to fight coronavirus.

WATCH: Cuban doctors arrive in SA to assist in fight against COVID-19

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.