17 October 2023
By Ojwang Joe
Kisumu — Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyong’o has termed as irrational the decision by the national government to end a 6-year deal on hiring Cuban doctors.
Nyong’o said the government is plunging the entire nation into a health crisis following the end of contract for the doctors.
“This sudden withdrawal of Cuban doctors from our medical services is an irrational decision bound to plunge the country into a health crisis,” he said.
The Governor noted that heath is a devolved function, thus there was need to consult counties before such a decision was made.
He said counties are now left without specialist doctors in their facilities to help patients with different and complex ailments.
At the Kisumu Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral hospital, Nyong’o said there were three Cuba doctors, who have since had their work terminated.
“We had an oncologist, dermatologist and a cardiologist at the referral hospital,” he said.
He said the gap left by the Cuban doctors is huge and will not be refilled soon.
“Where are we going to find a replacement for the Cuban doctors? You know, for certain, these are very scarce in our medical system.
Already, he announced that patients with complex ailments are lining up at the referral hospital waiting to seek medical assistance from the specialist doctors who have since vacated the facility.
The most affected patients, he said, are those with cancer ailments noting that the irrational decision was to be done after wide consultation.
Nyong’o said the government ought not to have cancelled the deal before putting in place adequate manpower for the replacement.
“The government was first to identify the Kenyan doctors to make the replacement, but in a situation where there are no doctors, the government ought to have explained to Kenyans where they would source for the replacement,” he said.
He noted that those who made the decision to withdraw the Cuban doctors’ services seek medical attention outside the country and do not understand the plight of the local mwananchi.
Addressing the press in Kisumu on Tuesday, Nyong’o appealed to the Kenya Kwanza government to rescind the decision immediately and restore the services offered by the expatriates.
He explained that they had discussed at the Council of Governors (CoG) on what had to have been done before the termination of the contracts.
The Governor said it takes long to train even an oncologist and the sudden withdrawal is a big mistake by the government, which will have far reaching consequences in the health sector.
In 2018, former President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a deal with the Cuban government that saw 100 doctors hired to treat in Kenyan hospitals.
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