Employment and Labour Relation Court has allowed the Government to deploy Cuban doctors citing urgency to provide Kenyans with medical services.
In what is a major blow to Kenyan medics, labor Court judge Nzioki Makau said that they did not prove that there are 171 unemployed specialist doctors.
Although the judge faulted the Government for not consulting doctors’ union and for not advertising for the positions, he also found that most hospitals in remote areas do not have specialists and Kenyan doctors are not interested in those positions.
Justice Makau said that the urgency of providing health services to Kenyans override the doctors right to push for jobs and better remuneration.
“Statistics produced in this court by the respondents are enough proof that specialists are urgently needed especially upcountry where Kenyan doctors have no interest in,” the judge ruled.
The Cuban doctors arrived in two teams. They have also been inducted at the Kenya School of Government.
The 100 medical specialists comprise of: 9 Critical care physicians, 3 Cardiologists, 5 Orthopaedic Surgeons, 3 Plastic Reconstructive Surgeons, 5 Nephrologists, 3 Urologists, 1 Neurosurgeon, 2 Endocrinologists and 53 Family Physicians among others to address the leading causes of illness, disability and death among the Kenyan population.
The criteria explained that the criteria used in choosing the 100 specialists were based on critical service gaps, improvement of access and equity and optimisation of government programmes such as the Managed Equipment Services.
Currently, the country has 2,204 active Medical Specialist from the 2,711 that are registered by the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board against a population of over 40 million Kenyans, the ministry has said.
In view of the World Health Organization’s Recommendation of 1 doctor per 1,000 population, Kenya has an deficit of 40,332 Doctors.
Dr Samson Misango, an assistant director of medical services and consultant surgeon, filed the suit at the Labour to try to scuttle the agreement reached between the national government, the 47 county governments and the government of Cuba to bring in the medical specialists from May 30.
Sweet deal for doctors from Cuba According to Dr Misango, the Government lied to the world that Kenya had a shortage of specialised medical practitioners, yet many doctors were jobless.
“There is no evidence of the Government carrying out interviews or any survey to establish that no local doctors are available to offer the required services as opposed to giving the opportunity to foreigners,” said Misango.
He said he was acting on behalf of all Kenya medical practitioners to object not only to the Cuban doctors but the influx of foreign doctors being issued with licences on the pretext that there were no local doctors to fit the positions they were being offered.
He stated that the real reason of importing the Cuban doctors was to deny Kenyan professionals good working conditions and better salaries.