Kenya bars Dar doctors from private hospital jobs

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT
State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT 

About 500 doctors Kenya hired from Tanzania will not be allowed to work in private hospitals to ease shortage of health workers in public hospitals.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu on Sunday said the Tanzania doctors will be paid similar to Kenya’s medics, who last week ended a 100-day strike that had paralysed the country’s public health system.

The union of medical workers criticised the hiring of Tanzanians, arguing they were costly and that Kenya should have hired 1, 400 jobless local doctors.

Besides the public sector jobs, doctors also work in private hospitals part time and some run their own clinics, further worsening shortages.

“The doctors from Tanzania will be issued with work permits and limited to working to a hospital or hospitals they have been assigned,” said Mr Esipisu.

“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.” They will get a two-year contract.

Doctors ended their strike last Tuesday and are to receive increased allowances as negotiations over other issues continue.

They have been demanding higher wages and better working conditions and say more doctors need to be hired. About 2,500 public health institutions were affected by the strike.