Tanzania to send 500 doctors to Kenya to help cover strike
Kenya's doctors went on strike in public hospitals on December 5 over pay and working conditions. A deal struck this week opened the way to negotiations to end the strike, but many doctors are still not back at work.
The strike means many public hospitals, already stretched for cash and materials, have had to turn away some patients. The situation threatened to undermine Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta's bid for a second term this August.
Tanzanian President John Magufuli approved Kenya's request for more doctors after he met Kenya's health minister, Cleopas Mailu, in Dar es Salaam on Saturday.
"Tanzania has accepted Kenya's request for 500 doctors to help the country deal with a shortage of doctors at its medical centres following a doctors' strike," the statement from Magufuli's office said.
"Kenya's problems are Tanzania's problems," Magufuli was quoted as saying.
Kenya will pay the Tanzanian doctors and provide them housing, the statement said. Tanzanian Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said Tanzania had many qualified, unemployed doctors. ■