Nairobi News

HashtagNews

Govt denies reports that Cuban doctors will earn more than Kenyan counterparts

The government has refuted reports that the 20 newly hired Cuban doctors will earn more than their Kenyan counterparts.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe said the reports was untrue, adding that the foreign medical specialists who arrived in the country on Friday will be paid the same as their Kenyan counterparts.

FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

The Cuban doctors have been hired by the government to help in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are not paying more than what we pay our own and I want this to be noted clearly. It is a small brigade of doctors who are specialists in their own areas who have come to help us, we learn from them and they also learn from us,” said Kagwe.

According to the government, the doctors are specialised in internal medicine, oncology, cardiology, renal, and pediatrics and will be deployed to Kenyatta University Teaching, Referral, and Research Hospital (KUTRRH). They will work in the country for six months.

“With the Covid-19 cases rising, these specialised doctors will go a long way in supporting our doctors in managing the disease and also in exchanging of skilled development,” Kagwe said.

At the same time, Kenyan doctors have criticised the government for importing the Cuban doctors instead of employing local doctors.

HUMANITARIAN MISSION

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) is questioning why the government has brought the foreign doctors yet the government had not hired local doctors after advertising for 13 vacancies in the medicine field three months ago.

“Cuban doctors brought on board yet Government of Kenya is yet to employ Kenyan specialists and doctors as advertised 3 months ago. In total, contradiction of Buy Kenya Build Kenya. The union shall let the Cubans serve their ‘fellow countrymen’ and all covid-19 patients,” KMPDU tweeted on Saturday.

But according to Kenyan ambassador to Cuba Mr Anthony Muchiri, the Cuban doctors are on a humanitarian mission.

“This humanitarian mission which, save for the transport and accommodation costs, is normally at no-cost to the recipient country, is in the spirit of the existing strong bilateral relations between the two countries,” Muchiri said.

The team is drawn from the Henry Reeve Medical Brigade established by Fidel Castro in 2005 to handle emergencies and serious epidemics.