Doctors turn down job offers, citing insecurity

What you need to know:

  • Mr Labarakwe said many Kenyans had generalised insecurity in Mandera to be a problem in all northern Kenya counties.
  • “We are ready to pay a salary of up to Sh500,000 and provide decent housing to specialists willing to work in Marsabit.”
  • He said the county was targeting eight specialists but can only afford four.

The county government is offering incentives to attract specialist doctors after it failed to receive any application for advertised positions.

Wrong perceptions about insecurity in northern Kenya are to blame for the lack of interest, according to Governor Ukur Yattani.

The county executive for Health, Mr Stephen Labarakwe, said a consultant hired to recruit for the positions of surgeon, gynaecologist, radiologist and paediatrician received only eight applications.
“However, five withdrew from the interviews after they heard of the attack on Mandera governor.

“We have already interviewed three candidates and we hope to have two surgeons in the next three weeks,” said Mr Labarakwe.

GENERALISED SECURITY

Three weeks ago, suspected Al-Shabaab militants ambushed Mandera Governor Ali Roba’s convoy and four people were killed.

Mr Labarakwe said many Kenyans had generalised insecurity in Mandera to be a problem in all northern Kenya counties.

The county government is ready to give salary and housing incentives for specialists, he said.

“We are ready to pay a salary of up to Sh500,000 and provide decent housing to specialists willing to work in Marsabit.” He said the county was targeting eight specialists but can only afford four.
Governor Yattani invited Kenyans to work in the county, saying it is secure.
“We are telling Kenyans that Marsabit is a safe haven with friendly people and we are ready to give bonuses to specialist doctors who will work here,” he said in Moyale when he met representatives of UN agencies.

He said the county government had already employed more than 200 health workers, bought ambulances and built new facilities, but it lacks specialised doctors.
“We are still referring patients to Meru or Nairobi for specialised care.” That is because the county has 14 doctors but they cannot handle cases that require specialised attention.

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