87 doctors to graduate
Premier Lubabalo Oscar Mabuyane will preside over the 16th graduation ceremony of 87 South African medical graduands who completed their studies, in a ceremony to be held at the Walter Sisulu University Mthatha campus on July 5. The doctors completed their studies through the Nelson Mandela Fidel Castro Medical Collaboration (NMFC) Programme in Cuba.
This is said to be the largest group to graduate all at once since the start of the programme in 1996. The new doctors have completed five years of medical studies and one year of clinical training in the country’s universities as part of the integration into the South African health system. The universities include Stellenbosch, Limpopo, Free State, Pretoria, KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape (WSU), Cape Town, Gauteng and Wits.
The aim of the programme is to strengthen the health care system through the primary health care approach which supports universal healthcare coverage. It was established to address the over-concentration of health personnel in urban areas and in the exclusionary private sector. In addition, it addresses the under-provision of health care in rural and peri-urban areas as well as informal settlements.
The ceremony will also be attended by a Cuban delegation, Deans of local medical schools, MECs and HODs of health, as well as hospital CEOs and families of the graduands. “SA-Cuba Medical Collaboration has delivered 87 new young doctors who have completed their medical training. Fellow citizens, I am talking about our own children who come from rural and poor communities who are now ready to be part of the new vision to build the Eastern Cape we all want,” said Mabuyane.