Mass exodus of medics blamed on poor pay
By Daniel Nzia
There is a mass exodus of medical personnel from public service due to low remuneration.
Medical Services PS James ole Kiyiapi said medics were leaving the ministry to join the private sector where a doctor earns Sh120,000 and above compared to Sh45,000 the Government was paying them.
He said the ministry has lost 160 medical doctors in the past six months, seriously affecting service delivery to Kenyans.
Prof Kiyiapi termed the trend worrying and said negotiations were ongoing between the Treasury and the Public Service Commission to address the crisis.
The PS who spoke to The Standard after a tour of Machakos General Hospital said the Government must improve terms and conditions of service for medical personnel.
"We cannot afford to lose doctors at this rate and cheat ourselves that we are offering Kenyans quality health care," said the PS.
Kiyiapi, who was accompanied by senior ministry officials, said more clinical officers and 15 nurses would be posted to the facility to ease the serious staff shortage it was currently experiencing.
He announced that the hospital would soon receive Sh121 million worth of modern equipment to help enhance service delivery and efficiency.
The PS regretted the serious congestion at the hospital’s paediatric ward where a 30-capacity room was holding close to 200 children.
"We must invest in our children otherwise what other investment could we boast of?" he posed.
The PS added the ministry would give the hospital funds for the construction of a proper children’s ward in the next fiscal year.
He pledged an urgent Sh10 million for the rehabilitation of the institution’s electrical system before the equipment are brought to avert destruction.
The programme to bring in new equipment, which targets six provincial and 17 district hospitals, will officially be launched in Meru soon.
The PS also admitted there was a serious shortage of pharmaceuticals in Government institutions, which he
attributed to strained budgetary allocations, but assured Kenyans the matter was being addressed.
"Many of our hospitals were built many years back and are in pathetic condition. We have been unable to put systems to the required level due to budgetary constraints," admitted Kiyiapi.
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