Kenya: Statement On Deployment of Cuban Doctors

Photo: Capital FM
Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita (in suit) says the move is in good faith since the doctor.
press release

Our attention has been drawn to remarks in the media in respect of the impending arrival of medical specialists from Cuba.

We want to make the following clear.

1. Our doctor-to-patient ratio remains 1 doctor to every 16,000 patients which means we are not anywhere near meeting the ratios required for the provision of quality healthcare to a majority of Kenyans.

2. Under this partnership with the Cuban Government, we are bringing in specialists in very complex areas of medicine, including ontology , nephrology and dermatology. Specialists in these areas are few and far between, yet their services are in high demand.

3. The underlying objective of the partnership is to build expertise and capacity at our grassroots Level 4 & 5 hospitals. As National Government, we remain committed to not only supporting our home grown medical professionals -- from technicians, nurses, clinical officers -- and doctors, but to also deliver service demanded by our people.

3. Our efforts to boost access to specialised medical service at the County level is not a condemnation of our own professionals, rather, it is a mere recognition that we need more specialised doctors. And we need especially those doctors prepared to leave the comfort of big cities to go and serve in rural communities where they are more needed.

4. Improving access by our citizens in rural areas to medical specialists can only improve the current congestion we are seeing at the few referral hospitals in the country . This is a concrete step towards decongesting those referral hospitals.

5. Even as the government works to recruit more local doctors, we must recognize that it takes many years to train doctors and have them ready for deployment. In the interim, stop gap measures such as this should be viewed in positive light as they show the determination of the government to improve access to quality healthcare for all our citizens irrespective of their location.

We urge all stakeholders to continue to engage directly with the Ministry of Health to find solutions to challenges that could undermine the delivery of affordable health care for all.

Nzioka Waita, CBS

Chief of Staff & Head of the President's Delivery Unit

22nd APRIL 2018

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