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Gov’t defends move to send nurses abroad

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The Ministry of Health has defended the Government’s move to send over 2,500 trained nurses aboard, saying that the country has excess medical practitioners to address health matters locally.

Defending the move, Public Health Principal Secretary Mary Muthoni said that the country is producing adequate healthcare workers every year to meet the rising market demand.

The PS downplayed concerns by the Council of Governors (COG) Health Committee Chairperson Muthomi Njuki that the move could affect the country’s health sector leading to understaffing in hospitals.

She noted that last year, the Kenya Medical and Training College (KMTC) produced over 22,000 medics into the job market which was way above the country’s need.

“We have thousands of trained nurses who are unemployed in the country and we should not deny them a chance to work abroad,” she said.

Muthoni attributed the impasse to lack of information adding that the ministry would supply the Council of Governors with the latest data.

The PS was addressing the press in Lake Naivasha Resort after meeting stakeholders who are involved in the development of the Quality Health Bill of 2024.

She said that the bill would be looking at the current status of health care in the country with focus on infrastructure, operating systems and human resources.

According to her, the bill which was supposed to come into law in three months would see all public health centers inspected to review their status.

“We have done a survey on the status of public health and we are now targeting the qualitative issues so that we can be in line with the Social Health Act,” she said.

Muthoni admitted that the country’s health care had challenges like dilapidated infrastructure and experts working in the wrong departments noting that this would be addressed by the bill.

“We are working with development partners and stakeholders in formulating this bill which will be a game-changer in the health sector,” she said.

Antony Gitonga
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