, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 22-The Government has defended the decision to deploy Cuban doctors to the country a move that has come under criticism since the announcement of the partnership.
Chief of Staff Nzioka Waita on Sunday said the move is in good faith since the doctor –patient ration in the country is still wanting in meeting the ratios required for the provision of quality healthcare to a majority of Kenyans.
“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,” he said.
Waita said the underlying objective of the partnership is to build capacity in Level 4 and Level 5 hospitals.
According to Waita, the government will outsource specialists in complex areas of medicine including, ontology, nephrology and dermatology whose specialists are few and their services in high demand.
“Our effort to boost access to specialized medical services at the County level is not a condemnation of our own professionals, rather, it is a mere recognition that we need more specialized doctors,” he said.
He said outsourcing medical specialists to serve in rural areas is a concrete step towards decongesting referral hospitals which are very congested.
Noting that it takes many years to train doctors and have them deployed, Waita this measure should be viewed in a positive light as part of Government’s commitment to improve access to quality healthcare for citizens irrespective of their location.
He said the Government is committed to not only supporting home grown medical professionals, but to also deliver service demanded by our people.