Reports that the Ministry of Health has sought clearance from the Attorney-General to more than double the pay of Kenyan doctors in Cuba is a welcome, but belated move.
It is sad that it had to take the death of a doctor through suicide to prompt the ministry into action yet the 50 doctors who were deployed to Cuba to study family medicine for two years had been complaining of their poor living conditions since last year.
They often cited the high cost of living, pay delays and inadequate stipend. They also said they were denied return air tickets every year yet their Cuban counterparts in Kenya were entitled to the same.
The irony is that the Cuban specialists who were deployed to Kenya on a government- to- government deal have been living comfortably with relatively higher pay and better living conditions. Now the ministry is seeking approval to pay the doctors Sh144,000 per month from the current Sh50,800.
The current deal gives the doctors 25 percent of the agreed pay and the government caters for food and medication. Going forward, the ministry officials should ensure that they quickly listen to their workers instead of dismissing complaints.