A batch of Cuban doctors set to start working in Kenya will be among Kenya’s most highly paid professionals with a salary of Sh882,180 per month.
They have been placed in Job Group S which puts their salary higher than that of principal secretaries, parliamentary majority and minority leaders, the Vice-Chief of Defence Forces, the Army Commander, the Inspector-General of Police and the Director of National Intelligence Service, who are paid Sh765,188 according to Business Daily.
The doctors from the Central Africa nation will earn more than MPs, Senators. The MPs are entitled to Sh621, 250 every month allowances not included.
Health Cabinet Secretary explained that the doctors were placed in Job Group S because they are specialists.
“The doctors are being taken in under Job Group S and that is where the specialists are graded. So they are coming in as specialists,” she said.
She added: “I did not negotiate with only one doctor; I negotiated with the government of Cuba so my relationship is with their government. Had we recruited them individually, then I would have lost focus because this is within our bilateral agreement framework,
Cuban doctors will be Kenya’s third professionals earning huge salaries going by the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) formula.
The highest earning public servant is the President with a salary of Sh1.4 million followed by the Deputy President at Sh1.2 million and Cabinet Secretaries at Sh924, 000.
A collective bargaining agreement (CBA) signed last year with the doctors’ union stipulate that doctors in Job Group S be paid a minimum of Sh786,810 and a maximum of Sh882,180.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has opposed this huge pay besides importation of Cuban doctors. The board argues that Kenyan specialist doctors are yet to be placed in Job Group S.
“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 had earlier told Business Daily that Kenya had enough specialists and there was no need to import more from Cuba.
However, the Health CS said government’s move was purely out of necessity.
“Fifty percent of specialists are here and they would never go to Turkana or Marsabit. Even the ones who are here work for only a few hours.”
Of the 100 Cuban doctors expected in the country in a fortnight, three radiologists will be distributed to Siaya, Nandi and Wajir countries.
Nephrologists will be distributed to Taita-Taveta, Migori, Busia, Nyeri and Embu counties while five orthopedic surgeons will be deployed to Lamu, Garissa, West Pokot, Nyandarua and Homa Bay counties respectively.
Five general surgeons will be deployed to Isiolo, Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera and Tana River counties while Machakos gets a dermatologist and Mombasa gets one gastroenterologist and a neurologist.
Nine critical care physicians will be deployed to Kwale, Baringo, Kiambu, Nairobi and Makueni counties.
In the 47 counties, 53 family physicians will be distributed with Samburu, Kirinyaga, Laikipia and Kitui counties offered an extra doctor.