Doctors back plan to extend Cuban specialists’ contract
Hillary Mageka @hillarymageka
Doctors yesterday backed the national government’s plan to extend the Cuban doctors’ stay in the country for an additional two years, amid fierce protest from local medics.
While giving its nod for the Ministry of Health to re-hire the Cuban doctors, the doctors under the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) said the country has a shortage of doctors, thus the need to extend thus agreed to have the Cuban doctors period extended.
“As a country which has only 2,600 specialists, while we know that we require at least 3,000 specialists, for you to tell me, you don’t require the Cuban doctors, then I am at pains to understand what we need as a country,” KMPDB Chief executive officer Daniel Yumbya told a Senate committee on Health via zoom meeting.
Yumbya had appeared alongside the KMPDB chair Eva Njenga to deliberate with senators on challenges facing health workers in the thick of Covid-19 pandemic.
Their decision came even as governors continued to be split on whether the government should renew Cuban doctors’ contracts which expires on December 16.
While defending the national government plan to extend the Cuban doctors’ stay in the country, Yumbya told senators that the intent of the government in 2018, was to bring into the country the Cuban experience, where Cuban physicians visit families and treat them at their homes.
“As a council, our position is that let’s recruit, the ones we have trained and registered, then let’s get the specialists to continue working as it is required,” Yumbya advised.