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“Virtual” return of the Kenyan doctor

03 Aug

The flight of skilled labour from Kenya has, as we have discovered been a very complex issue. The emigration of skilled labour from the country has had varied impact on the economy; some positive and some negative.

In the spirit of trying to remain positive about our country I thought it necessary to explore some of the positive impacts the Diaspora could have on our economy.

Return of the doctor to Kenya

The obvious positive impact of the Diaspora is the money that is sent to Kenya on a regular basis to support family and friends who are struggling to keep their heads above water in the unpredictable journey that the country has taken over the last decade.

The growth of telecommunication technology has revolutionised the way in which medicine is practised. Bearing this in mind, we should make the most of some of the products of the information age, one of which is telemedicine.

Telemedicine represents a way in which emigrant doctors could contribute to Kenya’s health delivery. It provides an avenue for consultations between Doctors in Kenya and specialists in the Diaspora. Although there are various obstacles to this (technology-wise); what with connectivity problems and poorly developed infrastructure in the country, it is highly likely that the advantage of real-time communication during critical procedures will be lost.

So instead of hoping for the return of every doctor that we exported to the Diaspora, we should maybe create avenues for the information and experience they have acquired-which is what we really need, to benefit the country. Telemedicine creates an interesting option in this regard.

It is the information age after all; why not make the most of it?


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