KENYAN HEALTH MINISTER DEFENDS MOVE TO RECRUIT CUBAN DOCTORS

NAIROBI– Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary (Minister) for Health, Sicily Kariuki, has defended the move by the government to recruit doctors from Cuba, saying the move will ensure the success of the health pillar of the government’s “Big Four” agenda as well as the target rolling out universal healthcare.

Her statement came Wednesday follow an outcry from some Kenyan medical practitioners who criticized the move instead of giving priority in employment to thousands in the country who remain jobless.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) had said that despite there being a serious shortage of doctors in hospitals in the country, the decision to bring in foreign doctors should have been made only after consideration of the plight of more than 1,200 unemployed locally-trained doctors.

Kariuki said the recruitment of Cuban medical specialists would greatly boost specialized healthcare as well as bridge the gap in specialized doctors, especially in the counties.

She said there is a need to shift the focus from curative to preventive healthcare in a bid to cut down on the huge budget incurred in treatment.

Separately, the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotels, Education Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers has issued a strike notice for its members working at the Kenyatta National Hospital over alleged poor pay and lack of promotion.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK