Row: New war over Cuban doctors qualification

Cuban doctors arrive at JKIA on June 7, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]
Local doctors have ignited debate on the qualifications of their Cuban counterparts, insisting that the Government should make them public.

The Kenya Medical Association (KMA) has claimed that the Ministry of Health had yet to indicate the specific qualifications of the Cuban doctors and the universities they attended for scrutiny.

The debate has been fuelled by the decision of the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (MPDB) to revoke the licence of one Cuban medic in December 2018.

MPDB revoked the licence of Dr Ricardo Adolfo Sanchez for absconding duty in Turkana County.

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KMA Vice-President Lukoye Atwoli questioned the value of the doctors, maintaining that Kenyan medics could perform better.

“They were licensed (to work in the country) in a very opaque manner. I can tell you, as a practitioner, your lives are at risk and when something happens, do not say we did not warn you,” said Dr Atwoli.

The importation of the 100 Cuban doctors was done through a government-to-government partnership, which in turn saw 50 Kenyan doctors fly to Cuba for further training, primarily in family medicine.

KMA President Jacqueline Kitulu said the association would vigorously oppose any attempts to pass off paraprofessionals as professionals.

“The association shall in the coming weeks propose legislation to deal summarily with charlatans and unqualified actors who put Kenyans’ lives at risk and get away with slaps on the wrist,” said Dr Kitulu.

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Cuban doctorsKenya Medical AssociationMinistry of Health