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South Africa plans to send med students to Russia for training

March 14, 2013, 16:01 UTC+3
The country universities turn out 1,200 physicians, which does not correspond to national healthcare development plans
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PRETORIA, March 14 (Itar-Tass) South Africa's Ministry of Health plans to send its medical students for training to Russia where the country's former Health Minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang studied way back in the days of apartheid. She graduated from the First Leningrad Medical Institute in 1969.

The now Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi "mulls over the possibility of broadening the geography of students' training to include Russia", Joe Maile the Minister's press secretary, told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

In South Africa, universities turn out 1,200 physicians, which does not correspond to national healthcare development plans.

Since 1996, the country has been dispatching students for training to Cuba. However, this year about 200 students there went on strike in a demant for a threefold increase in grants up to $700. Some of them have already returned home.

Maile said a problem is also posed by the fact that when in Cuba students learn medicine in Spanish, and upon returning to South Africa they have to switch over to English, whereas if sent to Russia they can receive education in English straightway. "Considering the shortage of physicians, we are ready to send students to any part of the world wherever instruction is conducted in English," he said.

South Africa pays 750,000 rand ($85,000) for one student's five-year education in Cuba.

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