Kenya To Welcome Cuban Doctors, Despite Opposition From Doctors' Union

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Wed May 16, 2018 12:46 am

The Kenyan government is forging ahead with plans to welcome 100 Cuban medical specialists in the country, even as the doctors union protests the move. The agreement was sealed when President Uhuru Kenyatta went to Cuba on March 17, in a historic state visit to the Caribbean Island nation. The Cuban doctors, who are said to be learning English and getting acquainted with Kenya's medical sector, are expected to jet in by July 2018. Kenya will also send 50 doctors to Cuba for specialized training.
The Kenyan medical sector has been hit by a wave of strikes, with doctors demanding higher pay. Kenyan doctors are already some of the best paid in Africa and the world, so their demands for more have been interpreted as greediness. Some have also been accused of abandoning their duties in public hospitals to attend to their more lucrative private practices. They also charge exorbitant fees to treat patients. These are some of the factors that informed the government's decision to invite Cuban doctors.
The local medics say there's no need for Cuban doctors when there are more than 1000 unemployed Kenyan ones. The government has however insisted that the 100 Cuban doctors are not meant to replace Kenyan medics, but offer specialized services and training. Cuba is known the world over for her highly trained doctors. Despite being under American sanctions for half a century, their medical sector has managed to remain one of the best in the world. It is used by the Cuban government to enhance diplomatic relations with other countries, mostly African and Latin American. In Africa, apart from Kenya, the Caribbean nation's doctors have been welcomed in Chad and Ghana.