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February 26, 2018

Tough vetting rules on foreign docs to guard against quacks

KMPDU Secretary-General Ouma Oluga arrives for the deliberations with doctors on strike at the Railway Club in Nairobi on January 24, 2017./JACK OWUOR
KMPDU Secretary-General Ouma Oluga arrives for the deliberations with doctors on strike at the Railway Club in Nairobi on January 24, 2017./JACK OWUOR

Kenyan doctors want their foreign colleagues who want to practice in Kenya thoroughly vetted before being allowed to practice.

They plan on coming up with a registry containing the list of specialists who qualify to attend to patients. “Professional associations and societies shall keep a register of all doctors under its concerned discipline of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy. Only such individuals will be allowed to practice,” Kenya Medial Association chairperson Jackline Kituku said on Friday.

Related content : Kenya to hire skilled, cheaper and jobless doctors from India, Cuba

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union secretary general Ouma Oluga said the move is aimed at protecting the public from not only foreign but also residents masquerading as doctors. The quacks cheat their way through the system to harm the public.


“Those who will be in our records and recognised by their professional peers shall be recommended for retention,” he said. The Friday meeting was attended by various members of health unions and associations.

The meeting aimed to come up with a mechanism to guard against fake doctors cropping up as Universal healthcare is rolled out in the country.

Also read : WHO boss Tedros Adhamon in Kenya for universal healthcare talks

The doctors want counties, faith-based and referral hospitals to fill staffing shortages by ensuring continuous absorption of all medical, pharmacy and dentistry graduates. Oluga said, “There are about 1,000 doctors who have been waiting for deployment for more than nine months. This is the surest way to attain universal access to doctors.”

Two weeks ago, WHO director General Tedros Adhanom made his first visit in the country. He pledged its full support for the delivery of universal healthcare for all within five years.

He also pledged to work with the government to invite health experts to assist in the development of a model to assist in the provision of universal healthcare.

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