ARUSHA, Tanzania, April 19 (Xinhua) -- At least 258 doctors and 11 health officers from Tanzania who had been recruited for employment in Kenya will now be employed in Tanzania's public hospitals, the government announced Wednesday.
The move follows Kenya's Employment and Labor Relations Court's temporary order, barring the government from hiring foreign doctors. Kenya was in the process of hiring 500 doctors from Tanzania to help address the shortage of health workers and also mitigate effects of the doctors' strike in the country. The decision was made after senior Ministry of Health officials from Kenya led by Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu held talks with Tanzania's President John Magufuli.President Magufuli said the government accepted Kenya's request for Tanzanian doctors due to the cordial relationship between the two countries.
Following the deal, Tanzania invited doctors to apply for the positions. Successful applicants will get a two-year contract. Addressing a press conference in Dodoma, Tanzania's minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Seniors and Children, Ummy Mwalimu said President John Magufuli directed her that following the stalemate in Kenya, the doctors should be employed to serve in the public hospitals in the country. She said after the president accepted Kenya's request, on 18th March this year, her ministry advertised for doctors who were interested in submitting application letters of which 496 doctors applied. The minister added that after scrutiny, it was realized that only 258 doctors met the criteria that were set for the two years contract.
According to Mwalimu, the requirements include verification of professional and secondary schools certificates. She further explained that the applicants were also required to states colleges where they studied and year of graduation, where they attended internship and when they completed the programme. Other requirements include experience, age not exceeding 55 years, registration at the medical council of Tanganyika and not public servant. "While the government was finalizing procedures to send the health practitioners to Kenya, some five doctors from the country logged legal complaint, blocking their government from hiring our doctors," said the minister. The minister said the agreement between the two countries was that the whole process was to be completed by 6th April 2017 and the doctors would travel to the neighboring country between 6th and 10th of the same month."Unfortunately up to that date the Kenyan court had not made any ruling on the matter and President John Magufuli has decided that all those doctors be employed in the country immediately," she added. She clarified that the names of the doctors and eleven others officers who were to go to Kenya and new working stations will be announced in the ministry website.However, the minister maintained that the government will be ready to work on Kenya's request to hire 500 doctors from Tanzania if there will be no other such hindrances to do so.