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Kenya needs to train more doctors

By The Standard | Published Tue, March 21st 2017 at 00:00, Updated March 20th 2017 at 20:50 GMT +3
Officials from Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and the management of Moi Referral and Training Hospital (MRTH) sign a return to work formula in a Naivasha hotel to end the 100 strike by doctors in the facility located in Eldoret Town. PHOTO: ANTONY GITONGA/STANDARD

The ink had hardly dried on the return-to-work formula signed between striking doctors and the national and county governments when a new row emerged.

This follows the Government’s latest move to hire 500 doctors from Tanzania, a move local doctors view with suspicion.

This might further be complicated by the claim by the Medical Association of Tanzania that there is a shortfall of 2,430 medics in Tanzania, hence the need to suspend plans of sending doctors to Kenya.

While some have accused the Government of mischief, claiming there are unemployed doctors in Kenya, State House spokesman Manoah Esipisu has discounted such claims as false. However, this matter must be treated with caution.

While Kenyan doctors should not feel threatened by expatriate doctors who might be coming in a dime cheaper, or take it they were cajoled by an insincere government to return to work, the need to train more doctors to meet patients’ demands cannot be overemphasized.

The Government must build on lessons derived from the three-month-long strike to set policies that guarantee there will be no repeat of the suffering that patients went through across the country.