The active recruitment of Kenyan medics in England has been stopped with immediate effect.
The UK says the decision has been reached to protect Kenya against shortage of healthcare workers.
The Department of Health and Social Care (NHS), however, said already-sealed contracts between the UK and Kenyan medics can, however, be formalised.
“If employers have already given conditional offers to nurses or other health or social care personnel from Kenya on, or prior to Thursday 11 November 2021, the recruitment process can continue,” the NHS said.
“This recognises the investment which has already been made to get the candidate to this stage and will ensure candidates who are fully expecting to be able to move to the UK to work are treated fairly.”
According to the Health department, Kenya was added to the recruitment amber list, meaning it needed protection against labour haemmorhage that could plunge the country into a health crisis.
“Adding Kenya to the amber list will protect the country from unmanaged international recruitment which could exacerbate existing health and social care workforce shortages,” said the NHS.
In September this year, the government, through Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui, said Kenya would send 20,000 nurses to the United Kingdom as the country sought to improve the welfare of its migrant workers abroad.
The recruitment of some of the UK-bound nurses, however, suffered a blow when at least 290 out of 300, who sat English tests in late October, failed the exam.