Health Ministry: Kenyan medics recruitment to the UK to go on

Health CS Mutahi Kagwe at Afya House in Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Recruitment of Kenyan nurses in the United Kingdom will continue, despite an earlier statement today that it had been suspended.

In a joint circular on Friday, Kenya’s Health Ministry and the British High Commission clarified that the recruitment will go on as per the government-government deal.  

“Moving Kenya from green to amber means international recruitment is only permitted in compliance with the terms of government-to-government agreement,” Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe stated.

Kagwe and British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriot jointly said that this halts uncontrolled recruitment and “stops private companies from exploiting the interest generated by the agreement between Kenya and the UK.”

Kenyan medics will now be absorbed in UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and benefit from a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the two countries in July 2011.

“The latest development will give the two governments more control to manage recruitment so that any future international recruitment is managed strictly in compliance with the terms of a government-to-government agreement,” the two leaders said.

Earlier, The Standard reported the process had been suspended, following a decision by the UK “to protect Kenya against shortage of healthcare workers.”

The NHS, however, said already-sealed contracts between the UK and Kenya can 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, November 11, 2021, the recruitment process can continue,” NHS said.

In September, Kenya, through Labour Cabinet Secretary Simon Chelugui, said it would send 20,000 nurses to the United Kingdom as it sought to improve the welfare of its migrant workers overseas.