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Nakhumicha to intern doctors: Return to work as we resolve your issues

 Ministry of Health CS Susan Nakhumicha.[Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Ministry of Health has urged intern doctors nationwide to report to their internship centres while efforts continue to resolve posting and compensation issues.

 In a statement on Tuesday, July 9, Nakhumicha reiterated the ministry's commitment to addressing these challenges.

"We empathise with our young doctors, who have faced psychological trauma and financial hardship," she said.

The government's funding for the internship programme has struggled to keep pace with the rapid increase in training institutions, leading to a backlog of graduates awaiting placement.

This situation has triggered recurrent industrial actions in the health sector.

Nakhumicha acknowledged the negative impact of these delays on interns, noting their psychological trauma and financial hardship.

"It is our commitment to post all interns immediately, despite anticipated budget cuts from the Finance Bill 2024's withdrawal," she added.

Since January 2023, the ministry has posted 4,156 interns across various cadres, at a total cost of Sh 4.2 billion.

A recent agreement resolved a doctors' strike, addressing the posting of 1,210 medical interns.

However, intern compensation remains contentious, with a court ruling pending on a proposed monthly stipend.

Currently, 3,760 interns await posting, with a budget shortfall of Sh 4.8 billion, the ministry disclosed.

The government has allocated Sh 3.7 billion for the 2024/2025 financial year, with ongoing efforts to find additional resources.

"We reassure the public of ongoing discussions to resolve the impasse and ensure intern welfare," Nakhumicha said.

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