Africa-Press – Kenya. Health Cabinet Secretary, Mutahi Kagwe, has stepped in and ordered that nurses who cannot afford to pay training fees should be allowed to undergo full training and pay later when they get jobs.
Speaking during the launch of the National Nursing and Midwifery Policy on Saturday, May 7, the CS noted that some of the nurses who apply for the course are not financially well off but can secure jobs in other countries.
He, therefore, directed Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) board to allow them to graduate without school fees and then pay at later dates.
He further noted that the country had entered into an agreement with select countries including Saudi Arabia, Italy and Kuwait among others.
KMTC currently charges Ksh40,000 for the course before the nurses are permitted to work outside the country.
Addressing the press, Kagwe explained that the new deal did not seek to export Kenya’s critical medical care workforce but to provide employment opportunities to nurses who lack jobs locally.
“Let me make it clear, we are not talking about sending our critical care nurses or the nurses that we need in the country.
“What we are talking about is the extra capacity that Kenya has built as a result of a passionate education system that allows both private and public sectors to participate in training and that capacity, if we are not using it in this country, should be taken to work overseas,” stated Kagwe.
The newly launched policy is also aimed to protect the nurses from the lawsuits emanating from their international workspaces.
This comes six months after the country entered into an agreement with UK to export Kenyan nurses for jobs abroad.
After an initial hitch that saw only 10 nurses pass the English proficiency test, the Ministry of Health developed a curriculum that would equip the nurses with proper skills.
“We want to create a workforce that is internationally able, qualified and for that we are proud. It’s essential that Kenyans can travel to the UK not feeling like refugees, not hiding behind the scenes but traveling as appreciated and recognised expatriates,” stated Kagwe at the time.
The Health CS added that other languages would be added to the program as the government continues to export more Kenyan workforce overseas.