The salaries of the Cuban health workers deployed in South Africa to help in the fight against COVID-19 are estimated to cost taxpayers about R239 million over the duration of their stay.
Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, revealed this in his written reply into a parliamentary question by the Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament, Siviwe Gwarube.
The Cuban doctors seconded to South Africa to help in the fight against Covid-19 will cost the state just over R239m, Provinces will pay millions more for accommodating the brigade until April 2021. pic.twitter.com/Llz4awATD3
— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) June 9, 2020
According to Mkhize, R6 million of this amount is for accommodation, and that does not include the costs of provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
The 187 Cuban healthcare workers include, among other nurses, epidemiologists, family physicians and health technologists.
The Minister says they will assist the country in areas where South Africa is unable to produce enough medical capacity.
He added that the estimated costs are informed by the appointment levels of the Cuban Health Brigade as determined by their registration category, which took into consideration years of experience amongst other things.
Department of Health’s Acting Director-General, Dr Anban Pillay, clarifies the deployment of Cuban doctors in the video below: