The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) has announced that foreign nationals will no longer be allowed to undertake their internships in Kenya.
In an effort to ensure the quality provision of healthcare, the council has directed that all foreign medical students must first complete their internship in their respective countries of nationality before proceeding to Kenya.
They will also be expected to attain registration before seeking the same in Kenya.
“Foreign nationals will no longer be allowed to undertake their medical or dental internship in Kenya. They will be expected to undertake their internship in their country of nationality and subsequently attain registration before proceeding to seek registration in Kenya,” the union directed.
KMPDC Order on Foreign Doctors
This decision comes at the backdrop of the Council’s directive to have doctors intending to practice in Kenya to obtain certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG).
The verification process includes presenting certificates for scrutiny.
“As part of the permanent registration process by KMPDC, foreign-trained medical and dental graduates are now obligated to have their documents, including undergraduate and postgraduate certificates and transcripts, certified by the ECFMG, “KMPDC council ordered.
Similarly, the directive came at a time when the Kenyan Government discontinued the exchange program with Cuban doctors.
This comes after the Health CS Susan Nakhumicha emphasized the capability of Kenyan medical professionals to handle healthcare operations across hospitals in October 2023.
“I want to say as a ministry, I have no doubt that we are going to have a very motivated workforce that is well taken care of and on that note I am pleased to announce that we shall not be renewing the agreement for the Cuban doctors.
“I want to believe that our very own are going to be committed to the course,” CS Nakhumicha said then.
Reasons For Internship Opposition
The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) had long opposed the exchange program, arguing that it was a costly endeavor for the government.
Dr. Davji Bhimji Atellah, KMPDU Secretary-General, contended that the expenses of hiring 150 Cuban medical professionals were equivalent to recruiting 500 Kenyan doctors.
Additionally, he highlighted differences in the scope of family medicine practice between Kenya and Cuba, emphasizing the necessity of training doctors to adapt to the program.
With this recent directive by KMPDC, there is an expectation that it will enhance employment opportunities for local graduates by reducing international competition in the medical and dental internship sphere.