SOUR DEAL?

Clinical officers to lose out on UK jobs for medics — lobby

There are 26,000 clinical officers according to their association

In Summary

• Austin Oduor, the president of the Global Association of Clinical Officers and Physicians Associates told the Star on Friday the deal will only benefit nurses and doctors.

• There are 26,000 clinical officers, Oduor told the Star in Migori town on Friday

Austin Oduor, President Global Association of Clinical Officers and Physician Associates (third left) in a 2017 photo.
Austin Oduor, President Global Association of Clinical Officers and Physician Associates (third left) in a 2017 photo.
Image: FILE

Clinical officers have said they may not be covered in a labour exchange deal signed between Kenya and the United Kingdom. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an agreement with the UK government to allow some health workers to be employed abroad. 

Austin Oduor, the president of the Global Association of Clinical Officers and Physicians Associates told the Star on Friday the deal will only benefit nurses and doctors. There are 26,000 clinical officers, Oduor told the Star in Migori town on Friday. 

“We are smelling a rat that the Ministry of Health will not factor clinical officers in the exchange and attempts by our colleagues in the United Kingdom who are known as Physician Associates to push the agenda through also failed,” Oduor said.

Labour CS Simon Chelugi and UK’s Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid signed the deal at the Royal College of Physicians. 

The agreement will offer “qualified but unemployed Kenyan nurses to be actively recruited to work” in the United Kingdom which targets to reach 50,000 more nurses by 2024.

The deal will also see Kenya’s healthcare professionals get training exchange opportunities. 

“Our healthcare agreement will make the most of UK and Kenyan health expertise which will be beneficial to both countries, with the exchange of knowledge and training which will provide first-class healthcare,” Javid said in the statement.

Already, there are around 900 Kenyan healthcare workers in the United Kingdom.

Oduor said the government has only employed roughly 6,000 clinical officers with “others still working in private facilities and NGOs.”

“We have a lot of surplus of clinical officers and we can have government deals to consider us, too, for exchange,” he said.