The government has made a U-turn and agreed to offer return tickets to Kenyan doctors studying in Cuba amid reports that they are struggling to cope with life in Central America.
Health Secretary Sicily Kariuki said that as part of reforms to the State-sponsored training Kenya will fund the 48 medics’ travel during their August summer break.
The doctors had last year requested return tickets every year like their Cuban counterparts in Kenya, but were informed that they were not entitled to it. The reforms to the study plan, which also saw Kenya hire 100 Cuban doctors despite opposition from a doctors union, was triggered by suicide of a Kenyan doctor in Cuba.
“They will come, I will be sending a team there this July and the confirmation will be made based on their engagement with the students,” Ms Kariuki said.
One of the medics in Cuba confirmed that the travel arrangements.
“We shall have a small summer break during the month of August but the exact dates of travel will be based on air tickets available,” he said.
“Time has a wonderful way of showing us what is important and it is not money, property or education but the people you love. I miss my daughter the most and I look forward to spending time with her.” The government is expected to pay a total of Sh138 million in stipends for the 48 doctors.