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» 28.05.2004 - Brain drain: "Europe poaching African healthcare workers"

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Science - Education | Health | Labour

400 new doctors to lose jobs in Kenya

afrol News, 20 December - At least 400 newly qualified doctors in public hospitals in Kenya will be out of job next week. Health officials said budgetary constraints within the Ministry of Health had prompted the move. This is in tandem with the government's policy shift that abolishes automatic employment for health workers.

Kenya's independent 'Daily Nation' reported that the move is to made effective on 31 December and is likely to cause negative impact on several crucial health programmes in the country. It also runs contrary to the campaign slogan of the ruling NARC government to create half a million jobs annually.

Like many sub-Saharan countries, Kenya is also getting its share of high attrition rate among health experts most of who travel abroad mainly because of unfavourable job conditions. Clearly, the move will create acute shortage of health services of East Africa's biggest economy that is also grappling with the scourge of HIV/AIDS, among other diseases.

The Kenyan Ministry of Health had earlier on retained doctors on permanent and pensionable terms after they successfully completed their one-year internship.

But now that there is a shift in policy, intern doctors who have been working in public health facilities will no longer enjoy automatic employment.

It is reported that the Kenya government could not absorb most of the products of the Moi and Nairobi universities annually.

The new policy categorised doctors like other professionals, whose positions are advertised annually.

Kenya's government thus is planning to advertise jobs for 160 doctors in January. It will ask the sacked doctors to apply, implying that 240 doctors will still remain in the jobless market.

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