1 Billion! Debt Left for Ministry by Intern Doctors

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The transfer of salary payment duties for interns and doctors pursuing post-graduate studies from the county to national government has seen the Ministry of Health request an extra Sh1.2 billion.

The Treasury has made the request on behalf of the ministry with the amount to be used to settle salaries of interns and registrars.

Registrars, as they are technically known, are qualified medics pursuing post-graduate training to specialize in various fields in the profession.

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Interns are fresh graduates from medical school posted to various public hospitals. The request for the amount is contained in mini-budget tabled in Parliament by Majority Leader Aden Duale where the Treasury is seeking MPs’ nod for an additional Sh57 billion.

Halt crisis

More than 300 registrars at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) went on strike in August last year over two-month salary arrears, which the ministry said were supposed to be paid by the Nairobi County.

But Governor Evans Kidero wrote to the Treasury saying that these were unbudgeted for and added that City Hall would not pay.

This forced the national government to assume the responsibility to halt the crisis at the country’s largest referral hospital.

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A circular from Health Cabinet secretary James Macharia said the payroll was returned to the national government in line with the Constitution that mandates it to handle training and capacity building matters.

Health is a devolved function, but referral hospitals like KNH and the Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital which host the registrars remain under the national government.

In the mini-budget, the Health ministry has also requested for Sh729 million to be spent on programmes for mitigation of an Ebola outbreak.

Source: Business Daily

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