By DailyNews Correspondent
Government of Uganda is scheduled to contract 200 Cuban medical doctors with the objective of filling the gap of inadequate Medical Processionals and Specialists Uganda. This was disclosed by the Minister of Public Service, Muruli Mukasa yesterday.
While appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Muruli Mukasa and the State Minister for General Health Sarah Opendi confirmed the move saying a Government Team traveled to the Island nation three weeks ago to conclude this initiative.
This appealing option will have Cuban doctors deployed in Regional Referral hospitals where there is scarcity and deficiency of Medical Specialists, the Public Service Minister said.
Cuban Medical Internationalism is the Cuban program, since the 1959 Cuban Revolution, of sending Cuban medical personnel overseas, particularly to Latin America, Africa and, more recently, Oceania, and of bringing medical students and patients to Cuba. In 2017, Cuba has over 60,000 workers in international collaborations in 103 different countries, of whom more than 35,000 are health personnel, including no fewer than 25,000 physicians.” Cuba provides more medical personnel to the developing world than all the G8 countries combined, although this comparison does not take into account G8 development aid spent on developing world healthcare. It is widely believed that medical workers are Cuba’s most important export commodity.
When asked Muruli Mukasa said: In many regional referral hospitals, there are no specialists because our doctors don’t want to go there.”
Mukasa said each of the doctors will be paid $1500 per month which is roughly Shs 5.4 million. local doctors earn between Shs 1 million to 4.5 million depending on experience and specialisation.
However some MPs on the committee opposed the move suggesting that government should instead empower local doctors.
The initial plan to hire Cuban doctors first came to the limelight during the period of industrial action by Ugandan medics last year.
In neighboring Kenya, the 1st batch of 100 Cuban Doctors are arriving in July 2018. Kenya is expecting 10 vector control experts and an additional 100 doctors from the communist state, following agreements signed during President Uhuru Kenyatta’s recent visit to the island nation.
- The Cuban experts will oversee the spraying of stagnant water bodies in eight counties around Lake Victoria where malaria prevalence is high.
- Local medics have opposed the planned importation of Cuban doctors citing remuneration bias.