Politics: Outrage in Kenya over Cuban doctors’ proposed pay

The doctors are set to take home a monthly salary of $8,793, placing them among Kenya's top earners

Kenyans online have expressed outrage over the new perks for Cuban doctors that will see them take home a monthly salary of Kshs882,180 ($8,793) per month.

This follows their placement in Job Group S whose salary band ranges from a minimum of Sh786,810 and a maximum of Sh882,180, placing them among Kenya's top earners.

 

Their monthly package is only bettered by the likes of the President and his Deputy who earn Ksh1,443,750 and Ksh1,227,188 respectively. They are also set to get furnished homes, air fares during their annual leave, paid utilities and transport from both the national and county governments.

The doctors have been deployed by the government as part of measures aimed at addressing the shortage of specialists in the country and are expected to begin their duties from June 1.

Their compensation package has ruffled feathers online with Kenyans questioning the government's priorities given the wanting state of health in the country.

Unfair

Local doctors, through the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) have opposed the importation of their Cuban counterparts insisting the pay is not fair to them.

“Our specialists according to the CBA should be in Job Group S and T but they are in M, N or P. Quite discriminative,” said the KMPDU secretary-general Ouma Oluga.

Oluga also argued that hiring of the Cubans is unethical because Kenya has enough doctors locally.

Health Secretary Sicily Kariuki however maintained that the importation of doctors was purely out of need and is meant to support counties that lack specialists.

Kenya will deploy 47 specialists and 53 family physicians for distribution across the country, pushing the total number of foreign doctors to 1,197.