Mailu engages counties over distribution of foreign doctors

Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Counties have been asked to submit their needs for doctors and dentists to aid in distribution of foreign medics hired by the government.

In a memo from the Health Secretary Cleopa Mailu to the Council of Governors (COG) dated March 21, counties had only up to Friday last week to have submitted their request.

The foreign doctors to be spread across public facilities at national and county levels are the first set of 500 from neighbouring Tanzania.

"Consultations are ongoing between the government of Kenya and the government of the United Republic of Tanzania regarding recruitment of doctors and dentists to work in Kenya at both national and county governments.

"This is to therefore request each county government to submit their human resource need for medical officers and dentists to facilitate planning by close if business March 24," said Dr Mailu in the letter stamped "very urgent".\

Specialist doctors

Dr Mailu had earlier said that they intend to import another 500 specialist doctors from Cuba to plug the chronic shortage in Kenya.

The foreign medics are to be paid in dollars.

This comes even as the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) maintains that there are currently some 200 Kenyan doctors who are unemployed.

The number is set to reach 1,425 by May this year after the current cohort of medical interns clear the programme, according to KMPDU.