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Government Announces Deployment Of Intern Doctors, Urges Suspension Of Strike

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Head of Public Service Felix Koskei. [COURTESY]

The government has announced the deployment of intern doctors.

The move comes as part of efforts to address the grievances raised by the striking doctors and ensure the provision of essential medical services to the public.

Head of Public Service Felix Koskei issued a statement on Tuesday evening said that the government has allocated Sh2.4 billion to facilitate the immediate deployment and posting of the 2023/24 cohort of medical student interns.

Koskei urged all eligible medical student interns to collect their posting letters from the Ministry of Health’s offices starting from Thursday, April 4, 2024.

“In that regard, all eligible medical student interns are urged to collect their posting letters from the Ministry of Health’s offices with effect from Thursday, April 4, 2024,” Koskei said.

The decision to deploy intern doctors follows two conciliatory meetings held on March 21 and March 27, 2024, as ordered by the Employment and Labour Relations Court.

Koskei emphasized that the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) should comply with the court’s orders by immediately suspending the ongoing industrial action.

Posting of medical interns was among the key issues raised by the striking doctors when they commenced their strike on March 14.

Koskei disclosed that the mediation committee, known as the Whole of the Nation Approach Committee, identified a total of 19 issues raised by the doctors, with responsibilities divided between the national and county governments.

Of these issues, six fall under the national government’s mandate, nine under the county government’s jurisdiction, and four are concurrent responsibilities of both levels of government.

In addition to the deployment of medical interns, Koskei assured that the national government would address basic salary arrears arising from the 2017-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement and provide grants and scholarships for eligible postgraduate medical officers.

“We are aware that county governments are at various stages of addressing the issues raised in respect to their counties,” he said.

While acknowledging that county governments are also addressing issues within their jurisdictions, Koskei reiterated the commitment of all stakeholders to the conciliation process.

 

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