Under the new pact, 20,000 Kenyan nurses will be employed on a three-year contract deal. Under the agreement, the nurses are going to be directly absorbed into the National Health Service (NHS), the umbrella term for the publicly funded healthcare systems of the
The contracts of the nurses who have landed the jobs will be renewed after the lapse of the three-year period based on their performances.
The move to allow and announce the number of Kenyan nurses going to the UK for work follows a meeting that was held late September this year between Health Principal Secretary Susan Mochache, her Labour counterpart Peter Tum, and officials from the Nursing Council of Kenya who negotiated the terms of employment.
“The visit is also meant to explore ways of strengthening the health system back in the country to make Kenya have global standards in training and patient care in addition to addressing unemployment for our nurses,” Health Ministry stated in a statement after the meeting.
The new batch will add to an already existing 894 Kenyans working in different roles in the NHS in UK. The addition makes Kenya among countries with the highest number of citizens working in the UK.
The deal which was a culmination of meetings between President Uhuru Kenyatta and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was to tap into the unemployed workforce in the country to address the shortage in England.
“Our health partnership with Kenya is 30 years old and growing stronger by the month. This new agreement on health workers allows us to share skills and expertise even further, and is a fantastic opportunity for Kenyans to work in the UK,” British High Commissioner Jane Marriott said.
The revelation of the number of nurses employed comes barely days after the government made it clear that it will not get a share of their salaries. UK, through a statement, affirmed the move maintaining that the nurses who will be paid directly without any intermediaries or third parties.
“The Government of Kenya will not receive any money from the salaries of Kenyan nurses working in NHS. Under the agreement between the UK and Kenya, nurses will be employed by NHS trusts under individual contracts and their salaries will be paid directly to them,” NHS official reiterated.
The exact figure the nurses will receive while working under NHS has not been made public but according to earlier reports by the Ministry of Health, the nurses will receive a relocation package and some of their travel expenses catered for.