Medics, MPs Oppose Importation of Cuban Specialists

The president of the Uganda Medical Association Dr. Ekwaro Obuku has come out to condemn a proposal by government to import medical specialists from Cuba.

According media reports this week, Government through the Ministry of Health plans to import a total of 200 medical specialists from Cuba to boost the country’s health sector.

The move according to Dr. Obuku and other medical officers who were appearing before the Health Committee of Parliament is uncalled for and an indication of a failed state that cannot handle its own health issues.

Dr. Obuku wondered how a country graduates a number of specialists who government has deliberately failed to hire or meet their required working conditions but thinks of hiring foreigners.

“Government’s move to import Cuban doctors would be okay if it was in 1986 when Uganda was recovering from war; we were at our lowest but in 2016, 30 years down the road, this means that the health sector has gone back to its level of 1986 and in political terms it means government is nowhere,” Obuku said.

Dr. Obuku noted that the country’s health issue isn’t to do with specialists since the country graduates 500 doctors every year from the different institutions, the country also graduates 150 specialist doctors every year.

“We have some of the most qualified doctors in the world who are lacking equipment and once in a while have to go abroad to keep sharp their skills.

That argument of importation of Cuban doctors is baseless and has no scientific evidence,” Obuku said.


“Whoever misadvised the president should be aligned before the Court Martial and sent to Luzira straight; they should resign because they are leading the health sector astray.”

The doctors were backed by a number of lawmakers sitting on the Parliamentary Health Committee.

The MPs noted that the government’s proposal is not in good faith but rather intended to punish and suppress the local doctors who were recently on strike over remuneration and poor working conditions.

The Committee Chairperson, Dr. Michael Bukenya noted that the committee will not allow such a proposal to be approved by Parliament since it is not in the interest of Ugandans.

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