Kenya seals deal to import 500 doctors from neighbouring Tanzania


Kenya is now set to receive 500 doctors from Tanzania in a bid to ease crisis in the health sector.

Speaking during a meeting with Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr Cleopa Mailu, at State House, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli said that the medics being sent to Kenya are those who are currently not in government employment and are willing to work in the country.

Magufuli further intimated that  the move was also advised by Kenya’s promise of competitive remuneration for the Tanzanian doctors.

On his part, CS Mailu thanked Magufuli for accepting Kenya’s request saying Kenyan doctors had indicated local public hospitals were understaffed hence the reason for approaching Tanzania.

This comes just a week after the Medical Association of Tanzania President, Obadia Nyagole, said that the neighbouring country is facing a shortage of 1,794 doctors and, therefore, cannot allow the country to export medics to Kenya.

Speaking to Hot 96 then, Dr Nyagole said sacking the striking Kenyan doctors was not the solution.

In January, the government had intimated that it was exploring possibilities of recruiting foreign doctors in a bid to restore health services in public hospitals when the local doctors had downed tools.

With the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) officials maintaining the full implementation of a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in 2013, the Council of Governors Chair, Peter Munya, on March 8, 2017 during the devolution conference in Naivasha announced that the government would hire doctors from Tanzania, Ethiopia and Cuba in the next three weeks to replace striking doctors.

The strike that took 100 days and one that saw Kenyans lose their lives and thousands of patients left in despair has since been called off.

The strike was called off by KMPDU after signing a return-to-work formula with the government and the Council of Governors.

“We are happy that the union has put to an end the strike. The terms and conditions relating to doctors have been honoured,” said KMPDU Secretary General, Dr Ouma Oluga, after signing the deal.

According to the signed return-to-work formula, the Council of Governors and KMPDU are set to sign a CBA within 60 days and file it at the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

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