Tue | Jan 15, 2019

Kenyan court rules gov't hiring of Cuban doctors does not infringe on rights of local physicians

Published:Tuesday | June 19, 2018 | 11:48 AM

NAIROBI,  CMC – A court in Nairobi, Kenya says Cuban doctors who arrived in the country earlier this month can start working in hospitals, dismissing a challenge over their right to work there.

On Tuesday, the Employment and Labour Relations Court ruled that there is no proof that a decision to hire Cuban specialists infringed on the rights of local doctors.

While Judge Nzioki Makau faulted the Government for not consulting the doctors’ union and for not advertising for the positions, he ruled that most hospitals in remote areas do not have specialists and Kenyan doctors are not interested in those positions.

Makau said that the urgency of providing health services to Kenyans override the doctors' right to push for jobs and better remuneration.

The Health Ministry has estimated that there is a shortage of over 40,000 health workers, but the doctors’ union says there are 1,683 unemployed doctors.

In recent years, the country’s health sector has been paralysed by strikes.

Last year, doctors took protest action for 100 days, the longest in the nation’s history. 

The over 100 Cuban specialists, including surgeons, cardiologists, and plastic reconstructive surgeons, will address the leading causes of illness, disability and death among the Kenyan population.

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