LETTER:More jobless medical students after failed Ukraine-Russia plan
When they returned to SA, they found the government was unable to support them
Further to my recent letter, I have had interesting feedback from medical students who were sent from SA to Russia and Ukraine to become doctors (“Doctors being thrown onto unemployment trash heap,” February 7).
These study tours were expensive and included visas, large stipend payments, accommodation and multiple flights a year — all at the expense of taxpayers.
Yet when these students returned to SA, they faced enormous problems. They find themselves unemployed with limited opportunities, as the government is unable to support them back home.
I am told that in 2019, the Health Practitioners Council of SA wanted to implement a programme for the students that would allow them to be assimilated in a manner similar to medical students who graduated in Cuba. But the government refused to support this.
Because of the limited support from the government, the majority of the graduates sitting for the board exam failed. These returned students are now in dire straits.
This entire operation, funded at taxpayer expense, has been a complete waste of time and money, and has left many students feeling despondent and helpless.
The department of health seems to be able to find money for ridiculous exercises of this nature, but claims there are no funds to employ more young doctors back home in state hospitals that so desperately need them.
Michael Bagraim, MP
DA deputy employment and labour spokesperson
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