The Council of Governors (CoG) has voiced concern over the government’s initiative to send trained nurses abroad, highlighting the pressing need for healthcare workers within the nation.

Speaking at an international workshop on Developing Healthcare Workforce for Africa, CoG Health committee chair Muthomi Njuki emphasized the contradiction of exporting trained healthcare professionals while facing shortages domestically.

Njuki underscored the disparity, citing a significant workforce crisis in the Kenyan public sector, with only 14 health workers per 10,000 Kenyans.

The CoG urged the government to reconsider its plan, noting the adverse impact of the high health worker-to-population ratio, a challenge not mirrored in Western countries.

Njuki pointed out the dilemma of brain drain, where Kenyan doctors and nurses seek opportunities abroad due to resource constraints at home.

In response, the Ministry of Health cited the increased production of nurses from institutions like Kenya Medical School, indicating sufficient workforce capacity.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour announced 2,500 job openings for nurses in Saudi Arabia, following a bilateral agreement facilitated by the designated recruitment agency, Abdal Human Resources Company in Riyadh.

The initiative, backed by Labor Principal Secretary Shadrack Mwadime, aims to address employment opportunities for Kenyans in various sectors, including healthcare, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

While acknowledging the economic benefits, the CoG underscored the need to prioritize local healthcare workforce needs, urging a balanced approach to workforce management.

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