Doctors Threaten go-slow from March over interns posting delays

Doctors have given the relevant health stakeholders until March 1 to ensure the placement of all pending medical interns.

Speaking on Tuesday, the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union SG Davji Atellah said all medical interns must get their posting letters by March 1.

According to KMPDU, 1,215 medical interns are awaiting posting with some having waited for either six months or one year.

Atellah said the interns had been wallowing in desperation at home yet the country suffers from a shortage of doctors in hospitals.

The Collective bargaining agreement between the ministry and doctors’ union stipulates that medical interns should be posted within 30 days after getting clearance from the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC) and the Pharmacy and Poisons Board (PPB)..

“We expect all the interns to be reporting to their respective by March 1 otherwise on February 29 we will all go to the Ministry of Health to collect these letters,” the SG said.

“We are putting the Ministry of Health, the Treasury, the Council of Governors and the whole country that if by March 1 we do not have direction on the posting of interns, all the doctors across the country will be on go slow,” Atellah said.

He noted that the issues of interns are for the entire workforce in the country adding that the union will work round the clock to ensure they are posted by March.

Atellah said the delay in posting the interns not only tramples upon their constitutional rights but also places an imminent threat on patient care within public hospitals.

He further noted that the delay is not just a convenience but also hinders their ability to fulfill their duties hence an impediment to their career progression.

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“The repercussions of this unjustifiable delay extend directly to the patients who depend on public hospitals for medical attention,” he said.

Atellah warned that the delay in posting the medical interns heaps additional burdens on already overworked, underpaid and ill-motivated healthcare professionals, heightening fatigue, and burnout and hence leading to a decline in the standards of patient care.

The unions on Thursday held a meeting with the health CS Susan Nakhumicha on the matter. In the Thursday meeting, the ministry withdrew the earlier communique indicating posting would be done in July.

The ministry blamed the delay in posting interns on the failure of the Treasury to release funds on time.

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Evelyne Wanyonyi

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