Dar es Salaam. The Medical Association of Tanzania, MAT, has asked the government to halt its decision to send 500 doctors to Kenya until the neighbouring country fully settles its agreement with the doctors' union.
MAT Chairman, Dr Obadia Nyongole, said in a statement to the media that there were a lot of unaddressed issues regarding the fate of the doctors whom the government has offered to Kenya.
First, Dr Nyongole said, MAT would have supported the government's decision to send the doctors to Kenya if this was done at the right time and with appropriate consultations.
"The government is doing right in its efforts to seek opportunities for unemployed doctors but MAT was not consulted on this issue," he said.
He asked the government to address the unemployment crisis facing the doctors before sensing them to Kenya. Tanzania still faces acute shortage of doctors, he noted, citing the 2016 Task Sharing policy Guidelines for Health Sector Services in Tanzania which has documented massive shortages of doctors at all levels of health facilities.
In health centres, the demand is 771 doctors but only 57 are available.
In district hospitals the demand is 1,760 doctors but those available are only 441. In regional hospitals, the demand is 725 but those available are 328.