Cuban medical graduates - Solomon Star News

Cuban medical graduates

29 September 2020

Dear Editor - On the front page of Solomon Star Issue No.7638 (Mon 28th Sept 2020) the Prime Minister reportedly spoke warmly about the more than 80 of our students who have so far graduated from Cuban medical schools.

As a least developed country, we need to have good doctors working in our hospitals and clinics to serve and help our people. Simply put our people expect and cherish good doctors.

Last year my infant son was so ill. So I rushed him to the NRH at about 12 midnight. 

The “doctor” on duty at the Emergency said he had to find a vein in my little boy’s hands or feet to insert a drip with medication.

After four injections on both hands and feet, the “doctor” failed to find a vein in my son’s limbs. By then he was screaming in pain. I became irate at what I just saw..

So I prayed to God to keep me calm and help my trembling son who was calling for his “grannies” because his dad and mum weren’t much help to him.

A little later a senior nurse (SICHE graduate) was called. 

She successfully performed the task within a minute.

Impressed by the nurse’s performance I then inquired about the “doctor’s” background. “Cuban doctor” was the response I got that night.

Currently, I prefer the help of private doctors in Honiara whenever I am sick. I am aware none of the private doctors was trained in Cuba.

Can the Prime Minister or the Government please explain to the nation whether the medical graduates from Cuba are comparably good as those of our doctors who have graduated from PNG, Fiji, Australia, or New Zealand medical schools?

It appears many of our people aren’t too sure about the capabilities of the medical practitioners other than those who have trained in the “traditional” medical schools of the bygone eras.

Sometimes those who graduated from cheaper or less costly schools lack the quality that we desperately need. 

Would the prime minister be willing to be treated by a “bush doctor” or a Cuban medical graduate when he is ill?

If the “bush doctors” or those Cuban medical graduates are comparably good, then perhaps the Parliamentary Entitlement Commission should now change its policies so that the prime minister, the MPs, their wives, and dependents should now have medical checks and or treatment done in Honiara other than overseas.

Our people just need to know that when they are sick and vulnerable, they could trust and depend on the men and women who attend on them in any of the medical facilities throughout our country.

Not all “doctors” are created equal.   

Gary Fa’aitoa