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Oluga: Cuban doctors to earn just what local ones asked for

By Graham Kajilwa | Published Tue, May 29th 2018 at 00:00, Updated May 28th 2018 at 22:34 GMT +3
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union(KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma

Doctors from Cuba are now expected in the country on July 7.

Initially, the Council of Governors and Ministry of Health had indicated the 100 foreign doctors were scheduled to arrive yesterday.

However, sources from the ministry said a coordinator who would be jetting in to assess the preparedness of the counties meant to absorb the specialists.

Yesterday, the doctors’ union said it was not entirely opposed to the deployment of 100 foreign doctors.

The underlying problem, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Ouma Oluga (right) said, was the manner in which the doctors were outsourced.

Advertise positions

Dr Oluga said the ministry ought to have advertised the 100 positions.

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While the Government will be paying the doctors monthly salaries, the counties are expected to cater for their housing needs, with provision for furnished apartments. Counties will also provide transport.

“We are not against the Cuban doctors... What we are against is the procedure on how they were hired,” said Oluga in an interview with a local media.

Oluga denied claims that the reason behind the importation of the 100 was local doctors' reluctance to work in rural areas.

This had been said by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki, who noted that every time doctors were deployed to the interior parts of the country, they asked for transfers or resigned altogether.

Unemployed doctors

Dr Oluga said they had been asking for the kind of facilitation the Cuban doctors have been given to work in the interior areas, but the Government has not been willing to offer.

According to data by the union, there are 1,683 unemployed doctors, among them 171 specialists.

The 100 doctors expected on June 7 will be specialists in endocrinology, ophthalmology, neurosurgery, radiology, dermatologists, among others.

Each county will get at least two specialists.

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