Doctors are the only cadre of professionals that are still posted directly to hospitals from college, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu has said.
Debunking the misguided notion that some 1,400 doctors who have graduated from public universities were still hanging without jobs, Mr. Esipisu said doctors are absorbed into service first as interns and after a year confirmed as medical officers once they finish their studies.
“Some do leave to expend all their energies in private practice while others stick in Government while still committing large chunks of their time to private practice,” Mr. Esipisu said.
The State House Spokesperson was speaking today at State House, Nairobi, during his weekly press briefing.
Mr. Esipisu said President Kenyatta has been concerned about the doctor : patient ratio for some time and has been determined to improve it, and significantly bring in the right skills set required in some areas.
He said it was due to these concerns that Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu visited Cuba and Tanzania, as well as discussed with a host of other stakeholders on how to bridge the gap, and bring in the right skills.
He pointed out following a conversation on the subject by Presidents Kenyatta and John Magufuli, CS Mailu led a delegation to Tanzania which met with President Magufuli resulting in the neighbouring country to agree to send 500 doctors, whose skills set has been determined by the National Government and the Council of Governors.
“The doctors will be paid at par, according to their experience and skills, with the package offer Government has made to Kenyan intern doctors and Medical Officers, and on a contract basis,” said Mr. Esipisu.
Adding, “The fact that the Tanzanian doctors have no access to the mortgage, car loan packages or pension offered under Kenya’s public service scheme means that they will come in at a cost effective and sustainable basis.”
Mr. Esipisu said contrary to misinformed opinion in some quarters, the curriculum in East African medical schools has been rationalised and a doctor qualifying in any East African country can work in another without further examination or exam.
“It must also be noted that Kenyans work across our region – in Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, South Sudan, Somalia and even Ethiopia – and that nationals of these countries can work here without any hurdles” said the State House Spokesperson.
He said doctors from Tanzania will be issued with work permits and limited to working in public hospitals they have been assigned.
“They will give their full attention to patients in public hospitals across the country. They will not be involved in private practise,” Mr. Esipisu affirmed.