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KMPDU issues ultimatum over placement of medical graduates

 Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General Davji Atella. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has issued an ultimatum to the Ministry of Health demanding immediate internship placements for over 1000 medical graduates by March 1.

Failure to which, KMPDU Secretary General Davji Atella says doctors in the 47 counties will go on a three-day strike. 

"On 29th Feb 2024, all the medical interns will go to the Ministry of Health to collect their internship letters failure to which on 1st, 2nd and 3rd doctors will down their tools in solidarity with the interns or a notice will follow," said KMPDU Secretary General Dr. Davji Bhimji 

Atella has questioned the government's commitment to Universal Healthcare (UHC) saying newly graduated doctors remain unemployed months after finishing medical school.

"The government must cease its empty rhetoric on UHC and start fulfilling its obligations to the health care sector, prioritising the well-being of both providers and the patients," said Bhimji.

He spoke on Tuesday during the solidarity meeting and actions which brought together medical graduates from different universities across the country. They voiced their frustration towards the government and the Ministry of Health over the delayed internship placements. 

The frustrated graduates, some of whom travelled from as far as Maseno University, demanded immediate internship postings, claiming the long wait has taken a toll on their mental health and finances. 

"Right now my mental health is something that I cannot explain, I urge the government to prioritize our mental health because there is a lot of depression going on," said Harry Otieno, a medical graduate from the University of Nairobi waiting for an internship posting.

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