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Doctor strike: KMPDU holds firm on interns’ pay at Sh206,000

The Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) remains unyielding in its demand for better pay for medical interns despite the government’s willingness to meet most of its demands.

In a recent statement, KMPDU Secretary General Dr Davji Atellah rejected the government’s offer to fulfil 18 out of the union’s 19 demands.

He said that the salary for medical interns set is currently at Sh206,000.

Dr Atellah emphasised the vulnerability of interns, labelling them as the “most vulnerable” group.

He stated, “We are willing to compromise on all other demands so long as the young medics’ remuneration is achieved. Dear government, the doctors are saying that since you have publicly said that you conceded to 18 of our 19 demands (except internship), kindly take back the 18 and give us the 1.”

Backing Dr Atellah’s stance, KMPDU Deputy Secretary General Dr Dennis Miskellah urged Health Cabinet Secretary Wafula Nakhumicha to allocate Sh3.4 billion from the Sh6.1 billion offer to pay interns.

“Waziri @Nakhumicha_S, kindly take 3.4 billion from it and pay the interns. We shall share the balance. Amongst us, interns are the most vulnerable and we must stand with them,” Dr. Miskellah said.

This declaration comes in response to the government’s anticipation for the doctors’ position following the 41-day-long strike.

Negotiations had concluded through the Whole of Nation Approach Committee chaired by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei.

The doctors have been protesting against the government’s failure to post medical interns and adhere to the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on doctors’ labour terms.

In response, CS Nakhumicha threatened legal action if KMPDU did not end the strike.

Addressing the media, CS Nakhumicha highlighted that the ministry has Sh3.5 billion in salary arrears from 2017 to June 2024, which will be paid in five instalments.

Additionally, Sh2.4 billion has been allocated for the payment of medical interns at the rate of Sh70,000 monthly, an offer KMPDU has rejected, insisting on the Sh206,000 stipulated in the CBA.