LEAVING: MEC for health Mxolisi Sokatsha, red tie, with students who will be studying in Cuba. Picture: Zandisile Luphahla
Ten Northern Cape students will depart today for Cuba where they have been accepted to study medicine.
They will be joined by another 23 later this month but according to the department of health, the province is still short of 27 students who will make up the total of 60 required by the province.
MEC for health Mxolisi Sokatsha said: “We could not achieve the national government’s target of recruiting 60 students from the province because out of the 60 students, 27 could not make it because their qualifications did not fit the selection criteria.
“Our criteria are strict. We need people under the age of 25, who are healthy, and have done well in their matric exams, with aggregate higher grade D symbols in maths, physical science and biology, so one of the reasons mentioned might have played against the 27.”
Sokatsha said they had only two weeks left to recruit the the roll-out of the National Health Insurance(NHI).
“NHI will resume shortly and we will need more doctors, hence we are excited about the opportunity like this, already 14 students who were absorbed in the medical training of South African students in Cuba about 10 years ago are back, and they are in our health system of doctors” said Sokatsha.
Ruther Montshiwa, one of the 10 new recruits leaving today for the Caribbean, said she wanted to do her family and the country proud.
“This is an amazing opportunity.
“When I come back I want to assist my community of Barkly West where we need more medical practitioners.”