Tanzanian doctors will start working in Kenya in the first week of April, Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu has said.
Dr Mailu on Monday said the medics would be given two-to-three year contracts, and would be posted to national, county and faith-based health facilities.
Speaking during an impromptu visit to the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Dr Mailu said the recruitment of the 500 doctors was within the law.
He dismissed claims by the doctors union that there are 1,400 jobless Kenyan doctors, saying they are unemployed “by choice”.
Kenyan doctors, he said, get jobs in government upon completing their studies but some choose private practice, insinuating that all those who are jobless fall in this group.
He said plans to hire specialist doctors from Cuba was under way to address Kenya’s poor doctor-to-patient ratio and burn-out due to long working hours.
The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board says, currently, the doctor to patient ratio stands at 1 to 5,033 Kenyans, this is nearly nine times more than what is recommended by the World Health Organisation of one doctor to 600 patients.