2nd batch of Cuban doctors due Thursday as court issues orders on absorption

According to the Ministry of Health, the induction of the doctors was to take place at the end of next week before they are posted to their respective stations/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, June 7 – The second batch of Cuban doctors recruited to work in Kenya are expected in the country Thursday even as the Employment and Labour Relations Court issued conservatory orders stopping the government from absorbing them.

According to the Ministry of Health, the induction of the doctors was to take place at the end of next week before they are posted to their respective stations.

Justice Onesmus Makau however, stated that the medics will not begin work pending the hearing and determination of the suit.

Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki had stated that the Government is currently addressing the human resources challenges that have bedeviled the sector for a long time.

She indicated that this included implementing the Human Resources for Health Norms and Standards developed by the Ministry of Health in 2014.

The petitioners Samwel Nduati, Reuel Maina and Francis Thuku – who are unemployed doctors – noted that Kenyans should be given first priority, in line with the national values state in the Constitution.

They stated that they are suitably trained yet their efforts for employment at public medical facilities have been in vain.

Through lawyer Anangwe Maloba, the doctors told the court that the respondents are obliged to consider the availability of skilled Kenyans before going for foreigners.

The lawyer noted that the Cubans will get better remuneration packages yet their skills are not superior, a situation that he said points at discrimination.

The doctors wanted the court to declare that the decision by the government, through the Health ministry and the Council of Governors, null and void as it is inconsistent and in conflict with the Constitution.

The government had explained that the country does not have enough doctors,hence the need to take steps for the universal healthcare goal to be achieved.

The judgment is set to be delivered on June 19.

The first 50 specialists landed on Tuesday and were received by government officials including Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, Health Cabinet Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman and Cuban Ambasador to Kenya Raul Rodriguez.

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