19 June 2018

Kenya: Cuban Doctors Head to Work After Court Clears Pathway

The Employment and Labour Relations Court has dismissed two cases challenging hiring of Cuban doctors by the national government.

Justice Onesmus Makau ruled that the Kenyan doctors who had moved to court failed to provide enough evidence to prove that the hiring of foreign doctors violated principles of national governance.

The judge said the petitioners failed to show that unemployed Kenyan doctors possess the same skills as the contracted Cuban medics.

But the judge faulted the government for not involving the public in the hiring of the foreign medics and for failing to advertise the jobs.

In response to the court decision, Kenya Medical Association said the discussion is set to continue in other forums, insisting the hiring was done contrary to international standards.

The Cuban doctors arrived in the country two weeks ago.

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Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki signed the contract to bring the 100 medical specialists to Kenya in April during her trip to Havana, Cuba's capital city.

During a visit to the Caribbean nation in March this year, President Kenyatta agreed to accelerate the deal that had been promised in 2017 to bring in the Cuban specialists.

President Kenyatta said the doctors would help plug existing gaps in county hospitals but the move has been widely criticised by health sector stakeholders.

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