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SRC says intern doctors should be absorbed not paid more

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) says the push to have medical interns paid more is misguided.

The commission’s chairperson Lyn Mengich insists that the Ksh. 70,000 stipend that is paid to medical interns is more than what is given to other interns both in the government and private sector.

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“Interns in government today, the highest paid is Ksh. 25,000. And even in the private sector we have checked, Ksh 35,000 could be about the highest,” she said

The SRC boss was also quick to point out that what is given to intern doctors as facilitation should not be misconstrued as salary.

“Interns are paid stipends and stipend is not a remuneration. A stipend is an amount you are paid just to facilitate you to work. We must separate the two. Interns anywhere are not paid a remuneration,” said Mengich

Mengich insists that the government cannot afford to pay intern salaries. Instead, she says the country needs to recruit more doctors in the health sector because Kenya has yet to reach the required ratio against the population.

“The conversation should not be about paying more to the ones you have. The conservation we should be having is how can we ensure that we are able as a country to recruit more healthcare workers,” she said in a TV interview Wednesday amid the ongoing doctors’ strike that has lasted one month.

“We need to look at the current wage bill and ask what we need to do to get the correct ratio. It’s not about don’t pay the don’t pay the doctors more, it’s about how do we get to what the law requires, 35% of revenue,” she added saying the current wage bill stands at 47%.

Mengich said this informed the decision to convene the planned National Wage Bill Conference.

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