Medical interns' shortage: Mandago proposes contractual employment

 Senate Health Committee chairperson has attributed delays in posting medical interns to a lack of facilities and resources.

Speaking during an interview on Spice FM, Senate Health Committee Chair Jackson Mandago explained the reasons behind the delays in the deployment of medical interns across the country.

 “The problem lies in the number of medical graduates versus the count of internship centers,” Mandago said on Tuesday, March 12.

“I am aware of the Ministry’s situation; the cadre of doctors from our academies is not matched by an increase in internship venues. The issue is further compounded by the lack of equipment and human capital within these establishments,” Mandago explained.

He proposed that unions should be open to the concept of contractual employment for medics, which would ensure staffing in hospitals and provide medics with hands-on experience.

Last week, the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), under Secretary-General Davji Atellah, called for a nationwide industrial action, demanding the induction of medical interns and other grievances.

Atellah has noted the dangers of such delays, noting that medical interns make up a significant 27 per cent of the workforce in public health facilities, making their absence a threat to patient care.

At the same time, Mandago says he remains optimistic, the government would work to rectify the situation.

He called on KMPDU to embrace innovative measures for a more equitable resolution.

 “Several facilities have been upgraded by the ministry, enabling them to operate as level six entities under national jurisdiction, which will lead to more internship centers. However, clinging to old methods will not bring change. We must broaden our perspectives and consider employing doctors on a contractual basis,” Mandago said.

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