The absorption of 48 Kenyan doctors on State-sponsored training in Cuba is likely to face hurdles after it emerged that the medical board cannot licence them after they graduate.
The students, who are studying general comprehensive medicine, a two-year course that is available in the country, were informed they will have to do an additional year of surgical disciplines in order to comply with the Kenyan set standards.
The Nation has established that two Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KMPDB) members travelled to Cuba in July to, among other things, align the course with the Kenyan Family Medicine curriculum.
Board chairperson Eva Njenga and Dr Nelly Bosire, a member, are expected to present their findings to the board during a meeting mid this month.
A student in Cuba who spoke anonymously, said the board proposed that the one-year surgery discipline be done in Cuba or Kenya.
“We’re waiting for Health Administrative Secretary (Dr Rashid Aman) to give a way forward,” he said.
Efforts to reach Dr Aman, the technical person in charge of the Cuban deal, was futile after messages and calls went unanswered.
The additional year would cost the government Sh2,360,500 per student should they stay in Cuba. This is based on the initial clearance letter by the Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua to former Principal Secretary Peter Tum on September 21, 2018.
The Cuban course takes 4,494 hours and is supposed to mirror the Kenya Master in Family Medicine programme, which is covered over 7,680 teaching hours.
Doctors Union Nairobi branch Secretary-General Thuranira Kaugiria said family medicine courses in Kenya encompass surgical disciplines, and therefore the course does not measure up.
He added that the general comprehensive medicine, which is tailor-made for Cuba, does not meet this criteria and does not incorporate the surgical disciplines.
“The ministry needs to speedily resolve this issue because it is causing unnecessary panic among the doctors,” he said.
The curriculum in Moi University and in other medical schools takes at least three years as per KMPDB recommendations.