The Kenyan government is set to get a share of salaries paid to Kenyan nurses working in the United Kingdom(UK).
Through a deal signed by President Uhuru Kenyata and UK’s Prime Minister Borris Johnson, 20,000 nurses from Kenya are expected to travel to the UK in October.
Ministry of Health officials, led by Permanent Secretary Susan Mochache, are expected to meet with different stakeholders to discuss further details of the engagement, with the percentage of the government's share being top priority.
Union officials within the health sector have backed the deal but demanded accountability on how the salaries paid by the UK government would be distributed.
“There is nothing wrong with this deal but we wish that the government would disclose the agreement so that we know how much the government is getting and how much the health workers will get,” Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) Secretary-General George Gibore stated.
The Kenya National Union of Nurses (KNUN) Secretary-General, Seth Panyako stated that the union is in support of the deal because it is beneficial to the training of nurses in the country.
“I support the move because we will have a chance for our nurses to bring in revenue to the country and support their families back home,” Panyako stated.
The union officials further urged their union members to make their applications. 3,329 nurses have already expressed their interest to travel to the UK.
While addressing the press on Thursday, September 2, Labour CS Simon Chelugui announced that the UK would employ 20,000 nurses from Kenya.
“We are exporting Kenyan nurses. Last month we were in London with President Uhuru Kenyatta and had discussions with the UK government, which agreed to take 20,000 of their 62,000 shortage of nurses trained in Kenya,” Chelugui stated.
The British High Commission backed the deal stating that the agreement between the two countries would benefit Kenya’s healthcare programs such as the Universal Health Care(UHC), which has been piloted in some counties.
“This can then be reinvested in employment within the local health sector or in additional training,” stated the Commission.
The nurses travelling to the UK are required to hold a bachelor’s degree and have 18 months of work experience.