Tanzania sends 500 doctors to Kenya

Tanzania is sending 500 doctors to Kenya to help overcome the effects of a strike in public hospitals.

The President John Magufuli approved Kenya’s request for more doctors after he met Kenya’s Health Minister, Cleopas Mailu, in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.

“Tanzania has accepted Kenya’s request for 500 doctors to help the country deal with a shortage of doctors at its medical centres following a doctors’ strike.

“Kenya’s problems are Tanzania’s problems,”  the statement from Magufuli’s office said.

Kenya to pay doctors
According to the statement, “Kenya will pay the Tanzanian doctors and provide them housing.’’

Tanzanian Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said Tanzania had many qualified, unemployed doctors.

Kenya’s doctors went on strike in public hospitals on December 5 over pay and working conditions.

A deal struck this week opened the way to negotiations to end the strike, but many doctors are still not back at work.

The strike means many public hospitals, already stretched for cash and materials have had to turn away some patients. The situation threatened to undermine Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta’s bid for a second term this August.

No comment
The Kenyan Health Ministry and the Kenyan doctors’ union were unavailable for comment.

On Friday, there were only two doctors on duty at the Kenyatta National Hospital, the biggest public hospital in the country, a nurse told media reporter.

“We can give you some pain relief but it will be a long time before you see a doctor,” she cautioned a bleeding, screaming car accident victim as hospital staff inspected a deep cut to her leg.

Reuters/Mercy Chukwudiebere