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Number of professional medics seeking work abroad on the increase, PS reveals

Monday, February 26th, 2024 07:20 | By
Number of professional medics seeking work abroad on the increase, PS reveals
Health CS Susan Nakhumicha (centre) poses for a photo with nurses who qualified to go to the United Kingdom after a flagging off ceremony last year. PHOTO/Print

The number of health professionals going out of the country to work is increasing annually.

Data released by the Ministry of Health shows that currently Kenya sends 3, 000 healthcare workers to lucrative labour markets worldwide, and this number according to Public Health and Professional Standards Principal Secretary Mary Muthoni, is expected to grow.

However, to demonstrate the anticipated growth in numbers of the health professionals flying abroad for work, the PS also shares data on the surge in foreign remittances, which according to the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) hit Sh483 billion ($4.3 billion) in 2022.

“In a dynamic era of global healthcare, Kenya is proud to announce its healthcare professionals’ significant presence in key positions across Europe, the Middle East and the Americas,” she said, noting that championed by the government, “this strategic migration not only fosters professional growth but also serves as a vital pillar for Kenya’s socioeconomic development.” According to the CBK, the foreign remittances to the Kenyan economy have surpassed income from traditional sectors like tourism, tea, and horticulture.

“These contributions not only benefit individual families but also drive Kenya towards greater economic resilience and prosperity,” the PS noted.

International markets

Muthoni lauded the health professionals’ move to seek better paying opportunities abroad, noting that their bold steps into international markets represent the very essence of Kenyan strength and dedication.

The move by health professionals to work abroad is facilitated through government-to-government placements and private recruitment.

“As government, we warmly invite our health professionals to embrace these global opportunities, and wish to emphasize that this initiative is not just a career move but a chance to lead international healthcare and contribute significantly to global well-being and Kenya’s prosperity,” she noted.

The financial remittances from these professionals, the PS pointed out, have become indispensable for Kenya’s economy. To ensure the well-being and rights of Kenyan workers abroad, the PS revealed that this has been made possible by a partnership between the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection and the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs.

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