KMPDU Calls for Release of Cuban Doctors Deal

Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) officials are urging the government to make public the agreement that saw the country import doctors from Cuba.

Officials from the KMPDU’s North Rift region, led by the region’s Chairman Dr. Darwin Ambuka and Secretary General Dr. Kamonzi Mulei, asked the government to come clean about the deal it made with Cuba during their annual meeting in Eldoret.

“Just in the same way the government has made public the memorandum of understanding about the Standard Gauge Railway, we also want to know how much Cuban doctors are earning in this country,” Dr. Ambuka told the press. 

The doctors also want the government to hire more local specialists rather than bringing in doctors from other countries, because hiring foreign doctors is more expensive than hiring local ones.

“We have over 5000 doctors who are not yet employed, we don’t want to hear the placement of Cuban doctors. Make public the amount they are earning, and calculate how much the amount can employ a local doctor,” they said.  

In addition, the medics called on the national government to collaborate with county administration and procure enough medical supplies.

According to the officials, it is time leaders from across the country started acting on their manifestos that had good plans for the health care sector. 

In May 2018, the Kenyan government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Cuba under which Cuban specialists would work in Kenya for two years and 50 Kenyan doctors would be trained in Cuba for two years.

The MoU also required the ministry to pay the specialists’ salaries by the tenth of each month, as well as to pay for their flights to Kenya and back to Cuba during annual leave and final departure.

Mutahi Kagwe, the then-Health Cabinet Secretary, renewed the MoU with Cuba in 2020.