April 2019 Business Daily;
The Ministry of Health has said that it will consider bringing in more Cuban doctors in the country to meet the health human resource gap in the country.
Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki said that to achieve the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in the country, the health sector is in need of more health workers to meet the resource gap.
“We need to be innovative and if it means we bring in more medics then we shall. We will however engage the union and not just the doctors but all cadres on the matter,” she said.
The CS said that they are currently experiencing an increase in patients in the public hospitals in the counties piloting UHC which means that more has to be done to equip the health sector.
It is however not clear whether the medics will be offered furnished homes, air fares for holidays, paid utilities and transport on top of their salaries as in the case with the current 100.
Ms Kariuki said that the government expects more Cuban medics who will implement the malaria vector control project using biolarvicides in eight counties in Western Kenya.
Kenya is also expected to welcome an unknown number of research team from Cuba who will develop joint projects with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).
The training deal, signed between Kenya and Cuba during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to Havana in March last year, was meant to develop a pool of much-needed skills in the ailing Kenyan healthcare sector.
The deal would see 100 Cuban doctors come to Kenya, of which 47 work as specialists while 53 family physicians were deployed to the counties.
Kenya in turn secured space for its 50 doctors to study in Cuba, famed for its world-class healthcare system. That number has since gone down to 48 following the death of one medic and the withdrawal from the program by female medic.
Currently, American doctors make the biggest number of foreign medics licensed to operate in Kenya with Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board’s (KMPDB) 2018 breakdown of the nationalities of foreign doctors showing that there were 1,019 foreign doctors licensed to practice by the end on March 2018.
There are 358 American medics with Tenwek Hospital in Bomet County accounting for the bulk of the US doctors with 149, AIC Kijabe Hospital had 86, 42 at Ampath Brase Clinic (17), while PCEA Chogoria Clinic and AIC Cure International Hospital had 15 each.
India has the second highest number of licensed foreign doctors at 143 most of who work at Mediheal Diagnostic and Fertility Centre.
Congo has the highest number of licensed African medics in Kenya with 45 doctors spread across various mission hospitals.
Kenya has 11,334 registered doctors, 6,394 of them active, in the 2018 register. There are also 1,302 registered dentists out of who only 683 are retained in this year’s register.