Intern Doctors Continue Protest for Postings and Rights at Ministry of Health


By Leonard Okello
For the second consecutive day, intern doctors in Kenya have maintained a vigil outside the Ministry of Health (MOH) offices, persistently demanding their rightful postings and adherence to the 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that governs their pay and work conditions.

After a night spent camping outside the MOH premises, the intern doctors resumed their protest early in the morning, emphasizing their need for official letters of posting that are crucial for them to begin their duties as qualified medical practitioners in hospitals across the country. Without these letters, the interns argue, they are unable to practice medicine effectively.

The standoff between the intern doctors and the Ministry of Health stems from allegations that the government has been delaying or resisting their postings and failing to honor the terms outlined in the CBA of 2017. This has led to growing frustration among the interns, who view the delays as detrimental to their career progression and professional development.

Adding to their demands, the interns have also called for broader reforms within the Ministry of Health and have explicitly demanded the resignation of Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha. Signs and placards bearing the slogan “Nakhumicha must go” were prominently displayed during the protest, underscoring their discontent with the current leadership.

Dorcas Onyango, a well-known cancer survivor, has shown solidarity with the interns by joining their protest late into the night. In a viral video, she expressed her support, citing the critical role of doctors and the government’s obligation to provide essential healthcare services to its citizens.

“I have witnessed firsthand the dedication of our doctors,” said Dorcas, emphasizing the importance of addressing the interns’ grievances promptly.

Meanwhile, public sentiment has largely been supportive of the intern doctors, with many Kenyans echoing their right to demand fair treatment and timely action from the government. Social media platforms have seen an outpouring of support for the interns, with citizens applauding their determination to uphold their rights as medical professionals.

As the protest continues, the focus now shifts to the government’s response. Kenyans await to see whether authorities will meet the interns’ demands, which include immediate postings, adherence to the CBA stipulations regarding payment, and the establishment of a Health Service Commission to oversee such matters in the future.

The intern doctors have vowed to remain at the MOH offices indefinitely until their demands are met, highlighting a determination to secure their professional rights and ensure they can contribute effectively to the country’s healthcare system.

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