Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki has defended the importation of Cuban doctors, saying only specialists would be hired.
Addressing journalists in Nyeri town on Monday, the minister said bringing in Cuban doctors would reduce the shortage of specialists in Kenya.
"Counties are in dire need of specialists. The Cuban doctors will be in the country on a two-year contract," she said.
The minister told unions to stop politicising "a sincere and honest move" after President Uhuru Kenyatta's announcement was met with criticism.
The decision to import doctors from Cuba, she said, was arrived at after consultations between governors and the national government.
"We are in talks with the governors to absorb local doctors who graduated last year," Ms Kariuki said.
She added that even if counties recruited the local doctors, it would do very little to narrow the doctor to patient ratio.