The Government Threatens To Recall Ksh.2.4b On Offer To Medical Interns

In its bid to break the deadlock between striking medical interns, the government through the Public Health Principal Secretary Mary Muthoni has issued a stern warning: the allocated Ksh.2.4 billion will be reclaimed by the Treasury if no deal is reached by June. This ultimatum comes as the government seeks to end the ongoing healthcare crisis that has left public hospitals paralyzed for weeks.

Despite repeated pleas from PS Muthoni for medical interns to accept the government’s offer, negotiations have remained at an impasse. The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union (KMPDU) has been leading the resistance against the proposed deal. “It would be wrong to take money back to the Treasury simply because we are not agreeing. So I am imploring them (doctors),” Muthoni stated.

PS Muthoni emphasized the importance of medical interns receiving licenses after their internship, citing this as the rationale behind the substantial Ksh.2.4 billion allocation. However, she reiterated that if an agreement is not reached soon, the funds will be withdrawn, resulting in losses for both the government and the medical interns.

 The government’s approach, chaired by Head of Public Service Felix Koskei, has been focused on dialogue and negotiation. However, with the strike entering its fourth week and no resolution in sight, tensions are running high. PS Muthoni acknowledged the complexity of the issues at hand but urged the unions to approach negotiations with sincerity and flexibility.

 The standoff has had severe repercussions, with healthcare services in public hospitals severely disrupted. Despite the government’s efforts to extend an olive branch by offering to post all eligible medical student interns and clear basic salary arrears, the KMPDU has rejected the proposal, opting to continue the strike.