Honour Cuban doctors & increase salaries for SA health workers - Nehawu

Cabinet approved the suggestion by President Cyril Ramaphosa to nominate the Cuban doctors who helped South Africa in the fight against COVID-19 the last few months.

FILE: A delegation of Cuban healthcare workers arrived in the Western Cape on 24 May 2020 to help with the province’s fight against the rapid spread of COVID-19. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's nomination of the Cuban doctors for a Nobel Peace Prize has raised questions.

Nehawu said that government should be honouring our own healthcare workers with decent salaries and benefits.

Cabinet approved the suggestion by President Cyril Ramaphosa to nominate the Cuban doctors who helped South Africa in the fight against COVID-19 in the last few months.

During his address on Monday, Ramaphosa said Cuba sent 3,700 experts around the world to help various countries to deal with the pandemic.

WATCH: SA proposes to nominate Cuban medical brigade for Nobel peace Prize

But many are wondering why our own local healthcare workers are not being recognised for their sacrifices at ill-equipped hospitals with limited resources.

Nehawu said that it was not opposed to the nomination of the doctors, agreeing that their work internationally should be recognised.

Spokesperson Khaya Xaba said that government could, however, recognise our own medical workers by paying them more money, with better benefits.

“They are supposed to receive their salary increases on 1 April and that has not happened. But we should start with the issue of the salary increase and I think then also we can nominate them for exceptional work that was done. Not only South African healthcare workers but healthcare workers all over the world. Healthcare workers have been at the forefront of protecting the world against the virus,” said Xaba.

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