Cuban doctors arrive in Kenya (photos)
HEALTH & SCIENCEBy WAWERU TITUS | Wed,Jun 06 2018 00:00:00 EATBy WAWERU TITUS | Wed,Jun 06 2018 00:00:00 EAT
The first batch of 50 out of 100 Cuban doctors arrived in the country on Tuesday amid controversy surrounding their pay.
The doctors landed at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on Tuesday night and were received by Kisumu Governor Anyang' Nyong'o.
The second batch of medics are expected to jet in on Thursday night.
The medics will then be deployed to all 47 counties after a two-week induction exercise starting on June 8.
Furnished apartments, security, transport and a monthly salary are some of the privileges they will enjoy while serving the country for two years.
It is not yet clear how much each doctor will earn as this has to be decided by the Public Service Commission (PSC), as was stated by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.
The specialists include among others five nephrologists, three radiologists, plastic surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons and neurologists.
Health CS Kariuki in April signed the contract to bring 100 specialised doctors, closing the journey that was wrought with resistance, scandals and threats since last year when the plan was announced.
A section of Kenyan doctors and leaders from different counties raised concerns over the hushed way the Health Ministry was handling the matter.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentist Union (KMPDU) Secretary-General Dr Ouma Oluga insisted they would not be involved in the process since they were not consulted from the onset.
The Health CS said deployment of the doctors to rural areas would improve access to specialist medical services and reduce dependence on the few referral hospitals in the country.
The CS added that 50 Kenyan doctors would travel to Cuba to receive specialised training, with a focus on family medicine.
While doctors in the country expressed their disappointment with the decision to hire the Cubans, the Government insisted the specialists from Cuba would build capacity in Level 4 and Level 5 hospitals.
It emerged that the doctors would be paid based on the civil service Job group S under the Government pay structure provided by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).