Economy & Politics

Tanzania to send 500 doctors to Kenya

Doctors from private hospitals and universities join their counterparts from public facilities at a protest in Kisumu County on February 14, 2017: The national and County governments have withdrawn the enhanced package that they had offered the medics. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI
Striking Kenya doctors from private hospitals and universities join their counterparts from public facilities at a protest in Kisumu County on February 14, 2017. PHOTO | TONNY OMONDI | NMG 

The Tanzanian government has agreed to send 500 doctors to Kenya to help address the shortage of medics in the country and also mitigate effects of the just-ended strike.

In a statement from State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's President John Magufuli on Saturday said he had accepted the request for doctors, after discussions with a delegation sent by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The delegation was led by Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu and Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma.

Last year, a study by healthcare planners in Tanzania revealed that the country is producing more medical doctors than it can absorb in its hospitals.

More than 60 per cent of medical graduates who were trained in Tanzania and abroad were not recruited to cover the shortage of doctors in most State-run health facilities.

Analysed data

The researchers analysed data showing the output of medical graduates in Tanzania over ten years, warning that the government needed to address the matter urgently. 

According to the findings, only 14 per cent of those who were not employed by the government managed to find full-time jobs in private hospitals.

But the rest, according to the lead researcher, Dr Nathanel Sirili, cannot be accounted for.