Why Tanzanian doctors are going crazy to work in Kenya… and culture shock that awaits them


Tanzanian doctors are demanding to be told whether President Magufuli will be making impromptu visits to Kenyan public hospitals, before they accept to be hired by the Kenyan government. The medics want assurances that they will not ‘flee’ to Kenya only to find themselves under the same nasty operating conditions as in Tanzania.

“If I have to come to Kenya it had better be an environment where I can afford to laze around all day without worrying that Mwalimu John might make an impromptu visit and find me idling, facebooking or tweeting,” said one Tanzanian doctor on condition of anonymity.

But with some Tanzanian doctors already convinced that since Magufuli hates foreign travel and thus will not be sneaking into Kenya every now and then to check on his doctors, some are eager to come to Kenya because they haven’t had a breathing space to idle and kill time for more than a year now.

“Since Kikwete left, I have always been looking over my shoulder while at work because I am always afraid the president might walk into the ward any time… I have also not had a chance to get away from work… I don’t even take breaks anymore… lest Mwalimu John walks in and I get fired…” said another Tanzanian doctor.

Many of them are already looking forward to things they have missed. “It would be good to work in a country where public holidays are not cancelled just like that… I miss public holidays!” confessed another doctor. Convinced that they will have all the time in the world if hired by the Kenyan government, many Tanzania doctors are now looking forward to reviving their side hustles, which had to be put on hold with the coming of no nonsense Magufuli.

“Mwalimu John killed my enterprising spirit, but Kenya will give me a chance to revive it!” said yet another excited doctor. To ensure they fit in as soon as possible, it is also understood that the Kenyan government is making efforts to ensure that the Tanzanian medical professionals are comfortable once they arrive. To that effect, the government is even considering setting up counselling facilities to cater for the culture shock the Tanzanians might experience while in Kenya. This includes the general lack of courtesy that is prevalent in Kenya.

Additionally, the Tanzanian doctors will also have to get acquainted with peculiar Kenyan diseases which are not found anywhere else in the world. This includes diseases such as “cancer of corruption”, “me-first syndrome”, as well as “sexually transmitted academic degrees and diplomas”. They have to be ready to handle such maladies.

The Kenyan government has also prepared a guide for the Tanzanian doctors. It contains simple advice for the first time visitor. One tip, for instance, advises the Tanzanians to pack several-days-supply of water from Tanzania for their daily use since every place in Kenya seems to be experiencing water shortages.

But even though many are convinced Magufuli will not be routinely storming Kenyan hospitals to check how his doctors are doing, some Kenyan doctors are opposing the hiring of Tanzanian medical professionals based on that fact alone. They worry that with Tanzanian doctors working alongside them, they will be lumped together and will be forced to always be looking over their shoulder worrying that Magufuli might just pop in any minute.

However, they have been assured that even if that were to be the case, Magufuli will be able to easily tell them apart and he will leave the Kenyans alone and just turn the heat on Tanzanians. One wag even offered an explanation as to how Magufuli will be able to distinguish between the two: “While a Tanzanian doctor tells you ‘Naomba nikudunge sindano…’ a Kenyan just tells you ‘INAMA!… hii hospitali si ya mamako!'”




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