Kenya’s government has decided not to renew a 6-year-old agreement that brought Cuban doctors to Kenya and sent Kenyan doctors to Cuba for specialized training.
Health Minister Nakumicha Wafula announced the termination of the Cuba deal in Nairobi.
The minister assured that the country’s health workers would be “well taken care of.”
“I have no doubt that we are going to have a very motivated workforce that is well taken care of,” Nakhumicha said.
“On that note, I am pleased to announce that we shall not be renewing the agreement for the Cuban doctors because I want to believe that our very own are going to be committed to the course.”
“As a ministry, I am confident that we will have a highly motivated workforce. We have decided not to renew the agreement with the Cuban doctors. Our very own healthcare professionals are committed to the cause. #KenyaHRHDialogue – Nakumicha S. Wafula, Cabinet Secretary for… pic.twitter.com/izDnYvAxwq
— Ministry of Health (@MOH_Kenya) October 11, 2023
The initial deal, signed in 2017, involved 50 Kenyans being sent to Cuba for specialized training, while 100 Cubans were dispatched to county-level hospitals in Kenya.
The program faced criticism due to the high salaries of the Cuban doctors, which were more than double the average salary of their Kenyan counterparts.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union criticized the move as a waste of resources, given the country’s struggle with unemployment among doctors and specialists.
The union suggested that the money used for the Cuban doctors’ salaries could have been used to hire Kenyan doctors or purchase medical equipment for local hospitals.
According to Kenya’s Salaries and Remuneration Commission, each Cuban doctor received a monthly salary of about $5,300, while local doctors in the same category received between $1600 and $2300.
KMPDU hailed the minister’s announcement stating that it is, “.. a statement of hope to the 4,000 unemployed doctors and medical interns. KMPDU’s fight against Cuban doctors has come to an end.”