#Article (Archive)

Appreciating the Cuban doctors

Jan 23, 2012, 1:14 PM

It is indeed gratifying to note that Cuban doctors serving at various health facilities across The Gambia last year attended to over six hundred patients in the country.

The Cuban doctors could be found across the country serving in various public health facilities, thanks to the cordial ties between the two countries and, of course, the financial support from Taiwan.

Cuban doctors in The Gambia treat patients with different aliments, and also provide surgical operations to those in need.

However, this also does not go without criticism from the public, who sometimes doubt the competence of these foreign doctors from Cuba.

Some of their patients and colleagues have been harsh in their criticism.

Some patients have complained that some of the doctors are not properly trained and that they do not converse fluently in any of the major local languages, including English.

While most people appreciate the Cuban doctors serving in the country, some patients have called them trainees here to seek their eventual qualification by doing their medical practice in The Gambia.

Nonetheless, there are some patients for whom,  if they visit the health facility, they would not like to go home if they are not seen by a Cuban doctor.

Whatever the case may be and whatever one may prefer, we must emphasise that the Cuban doctors are indeed boosting service delivery in the country’s health sector.

Some of them do receive praises from their patients for not only treating them well, but also for the love and care they give them.

Whatever the criticism, it cannot be denied - some commentators have said - that Cuban doctors have brought invaluable resources to far-flung areas of the country, where many Gambian doctors refuse to work due to the remoteness of the area, etc.

They also offer professional training to many Gambian students training at the Medical School of the University of the Gambia to become doctors.

Finally, we must stress that Cuban doctors are fulfilling a crucial role in plugging the hole in The Gambia’s health sector, caused by the lack of enough Gambian doctors, especially doctors willing to work in far- flung areas of the country.