Gov't issues new directive on Cuban doctors working in Kenya

There are 100 Cuban doctors working in Kenya

Health PS Susan Mochache issues directive to have Cuban doctors working in Kenya paired up with Kenyan doctors

The Ministry of Health has issued a new directive concerning the 100 Cuban doctors who were brought the country as part of an exchange program between Kenya and Cuba.

A circular seen by Pulselive.co.ke has instructed the Council of Governors to ensure the doctors posted to each county are paired up with a Kenyan doctor for the remainder of their time in the country.

"Following the deployment of 100 Cuban specialists to different counties it has been noted that the mentorship role of the Cuban doctors to their Kenyan colleagues has not been optimum.

"In order to realize the full benefits from the Cuban Doctors Program in various health facilities at Counties, it is important to ensure that they are paired with Kenyan doctors in those stations for mentorship as per the bilateral agreement and recommendations of the Rapid Assessment team," the circular dated August 7, 2019 read in part.

Kenyan doctors protest Ministry of Health directive

The new directive seems to have rubbed Kenyan doctors the wrong way, reviving debates on whether it was necessary for the government to make the deal with Cuba.

Former CEO of the Kenya Medical Association Dr Bosire Wairimu termed the directive as "being taken for a ride".

"They deploy 100 Cuban doctors because they say we have inadequate doctors, pay them 1 Million Kenyan shillings per month despite an existing pool of doctors who haven't been absorbed (jobless). Now they want us to mentor the Cubans!" she stated.

Earlier in the week the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) had raised concerns that the Kenyan doctors studying in Cuba may fail to meet the Kenyan standards for licensing.

The Board conveyed that the two-year course in Cuba does not cover surgical training which is a must-have before a doctor is licensed to practice in Kenya.

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