By Judith Gicobi
Mutahi Kagwe, the Health Cabinet Secretary, has moved in and directed that nurses who cannot afford to cover for training costs be allowed to complete their training and pay later when they find work.
The CS remarked that some of the nurses who enroll for the program are not financially empowered but can find work in other countries. He announce this during the launching of the National Nursing and Midwifery Policy on Saturday, May 7.
As a result, he authorized the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) board to permit them to graduate without having to pay school fees until later.
He also mentioned that the country had reached a deal with a number of countries, including Kuwait, Italy and Saudi Arabia.
The training costs Ksh40,000 and must be completed before nurses are allowed to work outside of Kenya.
In a press conference, Kagwe explained that the new agreement was not intended to export Kenya’s crucial medical care workforce, but rather to provide career possibilities for nurses who are unemployed in the country.
“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 implemented guideline also aims to safeguard nurses from litigation stemming from their international work environments.
This follows six months since Kenya signed an agreement with the United Kingdom to send Kenyan nurses abroad to work.