Home NEWS Local News Cabinet deems Ksh 206,000 intern stipend unsustainable, endorses Ksh 70,000

Cabinet deems Ksh 206,000 intern stipend unsustainable, endorses Ksh 70,000

The government has promised to absorb all 1500 interns

The Cabinet has expressed its stance on the current payment structure for medical interns, emphasizing that the existing stipend of Ksh 206,000 per month is unsustainable.

Consequently, the government has endorsed a directive to adjust the internship stipend to Ksh 70,000, aligning with recent discussions held with the Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC).

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Meanwhile, Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha has confirmed that the Ministry has received Ksh 6.1 billion to address the concerns raised by doctors.

During a press briefing following an unsuccessful meeting aimed at resolving the month-long strike, CS Nakhumicha outlined the breakdown of the funds allocated: Ksh 2 billion for settling Linda Mama arrears across all facilities, Ksh 1 billion for faith-based facilities, Ksh 1.5 billion for government facilities, and Ksh 2 billion for private health facilities.

However, despite these efforts, the impasse continues as the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) failed to attend a scheduled meeting, prolonging the strike.

In a separate forum, the Head of Public Service Felix Koskei acknowledged the financial constraints, stating the government’s inability to raise the required Ksh 12 billion to pay the salaries of over 1,200 intern doctors.

Despite the challenges, Koskei assured a commitment to resume negotiations with the striking doctors.

“The government has secured Ksh 2.4 billion on Tuesday to facilitate the immediate posting of the 2023-24 cohort of medical interns,” he said.

Moreover, the government has pledged to clear salary arrears of medics under the national government stemming from the 2017-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

Koskei, speaking in Naivasha, acknowledged certain demands by the KMPDU as unattainable given the current economic climate, highlighting the need for fiscal prudence.

Addressing the intern stipend issue, Koskei emphasized the proposed reduction to Ksh 70,000 per month, citing the inability to sustain the higher rate amidst increasing numbers of graduating medics.

“We should focus on the internship of these medical students who will in future earn whatever they want once they are through with their learning,” he said.

As the health sector crisis persists, tensions between the government and striking doctors remain palpable, with discussions on a return-to-work formula encountering obstacles.

Meanwhile, the KMPDU remains steadfast in its demands, particularly emphasizing the non-negotiability of intern doctor payments.

The Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) has also maintained their strike stance, highlighting that the government has addressed none of their grievances.

Led by Chairperson Peterson Wachira, the union asserts that they will persist with boycotts, particularly opposing the requirement to negotiate with counties separately.

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