Kenya will not renew its six-year agreement with Cuban doctors who have been working in Kenyan hospitals. The decision was announced by Health Minister Susan Nakhumicha, who stated that this move is aimed at addressing the challenges faced by Kenyan health workers, particularly the shortage of job opportunities.
In 2017, an agreement was established to create an exchange program in which Cuban doctors assisted in filling the staffing gaps in county hospitals, while Kenyan medical professionals traveled to Cuba for specialized medical training. However, this initiative faced criticism from Kenyan medical experts who argued that their local doctors possessed the necessary training, equivalent to that of their Cuban counterparts.
Additionally, concerns arose regarding the remuneration of Cuban doctors compared to Kenyan doctors, with allegations that the Kenyan government paid the Cuban professionals significantly more, even as locally trained doctors remained unemployed.
This issue exacerbated the ongoing challenges in the Kenyan healthcare system, where doctors and other health workers have frequently gone on strike to demand higher wages, improved working conditions, and increased hiring of medical staff.