Striking intern clinicians disrupt health services, demand seven months’ salaries

Nurses at Bungoma pediatric ward on July 1, 2021. [Benjamin Sakwa, Standard]

Healthcare services in Vihiga County have been disrupted by the intern clinicians’ strike.

Some county hospitals and health centres could not offer services as expected since the start of the strike on Monday.

The intern clinicians accuse the Health ministry of failing to pay their allowances for seven months.

Group chairperson Roy Kevin said the interns staged a peaceful demonstration on Wednesday in Mbale town as they sought an audience with the ministry officials.

Kevin questioned why their allowances are delayed even though the government allocated money for it in this year’s budget.

“When we were employed one year ago on contract we expected to be paid,” he said.

The clinicans have been hired on a one-year contract. They are fearful that with the election approaching they may not be paid.

“We have been patient for a long time. That is why we are joining our colleagues countrywide to air our frustrations,” Kevin said.

The national government’s plan to hire intern clinicians was meant to help them acquire the experience. Those hired under the Universal Health Care programme have not received salaries.