THE number of nurses migrating overseas for better opportunities has reduced by 37.4 per cent compared to the past nine years, a new audit on Kenya Nursing Workforce documents. The report released yesterday says 1,278 nurses left for greener pastures abroad between years 2008-2012.
The report says this translates to about 256 migrations per year. "Kenya suffers from exodus of trained professionals-brain drain. However between 2008 and 2012 the number of nurses intending to leave the country decreased by 37 per cent," says the report.
It says the new trend can be attributed to better scheme of service. It further says that the rate at which nurses move from the public sector to the private sector has reduced. It says some nurses have started moving back to the public hospitals, a trend attributed to better working conditions in public sector.
Between 2008 and 2012, some 826 nurses were reported to have left the public sector, but now the trend is changing. Currently the main causes are attrition in the public sector nursing retirement at 37 per cent, death at 28 per cent dismissal 19 per cent, resignation at ten per cent and transfer at six per cent.
The report further documents that by 2012 there were only 19, 591 nurses deployed at the 4187 health facilities across Kenya, which include public parastatal and faith based facilities.
Of the number 16, 671 nurses are employed in the public sector, followed by 2,246 employed in Kenya's tow parastatal national referral hospitals-Kenyatta National Hospital and Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital and the remainder at faith-based facilities.