Editor's Review

On Monday, July 8, medics camped outside the Ministry of Health premises at Afya House.

The Ministry of Health has disclosed that it desires to post all intern doctors immediately after medics camped outside the ministry's premises at Afya House.

In a statement on Wednesday, July 10, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha noted that the withdrawal of the Finance Bill 2024 cannot permit the posting of the interns at a stipend of Sh206,400 per month based on the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) rates.

She further intimated that an advisory by the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC) to post the interns at a monthly stipend of Sh70,000 was challenged by the court, and a decision on the same will be issued on September 26.

"Whereas KMPDU preferred that an intern be posted based on the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) rates of Sh206,400 per month, the realities of the fiscal space coupled with the withdrawal of the Finance Bill 2024 cannot permit this," Nakhumicha remarked.

She added, "Further, an advisory from the Salary and Remuneration Commission (SRC) advising on a monthly stipend of Sh70,000 to facilitate the posting of all interns was challenged in the Employment and Labour Relations Court. The matter still awaits determination on 26th September 2024."

Additionally, Nakhumicha intimated that various meetings have been held and three options have been presented regarding the stalemate.

She noted that the first option was to post all the interns at the recommended SRC stipend rate of Sh70,000 per month, while the second was to wait for the court's decision.

Susan Nakhumicha.

The third option was to post the interns in batches at the CBA rates while negotiations continue, and according to the funds allocated to the Ministry in the 2024/25 budget, Nakhumicha said at least 552 interns will be posted immediately.

“The above notwithstanding, the Ministry recognizes the loss in time and highly recommends the interns across the cadres to report to their internship centers as communicated earlier pending the resolution of the package,” Nakhumicha stated.

She reassured Kenyans that the ongoing negotiations between the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) and the Ministry will resolve the current impasse.

However, the CS called out individuals whom she said were using the 'occupy MOH' protests to paint an image of neglect and incompetency by the Ministry.

"It is regrettable that despite the open and candid discussions with the union officials and representatives of the interns, a few individuals are attempting to use the demonstrations and assembly as an opportunity to paint an image of inaction, neglect, and incompetence against the Ministry of Health, hoping that this will propagate a feeling of hopelessness and incite chaos among the wider population,” Nakhumicha remarked.