About 145 students from Gauteng will be jetting off on Thursday to Cuba to study medicine.
The students have been awarded seven year bursaries. They will join hundreds of other South African students already studying medicine in Cuba.
The Cuban programme is aimed at increasing the number of doctors to address the shortage in the country. About 1 200 doctors are currently produced by the country’s eight medical schools annually.
One student from the Uthukela District and one from the Ilembe District were also expelled from the University for Alcohol and drug related offences
Meanwhile, six of a group of 200 students who are studying medicine in Cuba have been taken off the programme.
The announcement was made by KwaZulu-Natal Health MEC Sbongiseni Dhlomo at a meeting with student doctors in Durban. He says two of the six – a man and a woman – were sent home after the woman fell pregnant.
One student from the Uthukela District and one from the Ilembe District were also expelled from the University for Alcohol and drug related offences.
Dhlomo urged the students to focus on their studies.
“The numbers are small but it’s a worry because that just one child coming from that poor family was going to be a huge impact for us in the country. The other student is coming back because of a alcohol problem. He was counselled at the university and they found out that he drinks too much and he turns to be violent and misbehave and there are certain things that you can’t do in another country and that student is back here at home.”