Graduate doctors on Monday, February 12, staged demonstrations outside the Ministry of Health Headquarters at Afya House, Nairobi demanding an audience with Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha.
On top of their grievances is the delay in being posted as medical interns despite having graduated and met other mandatory requirements.
The graduate doctors were also joined by medical students led by the University of Nairobi Governor, Faculty of Health Sciences Ramesh Saxena.
Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke, Saxena remarked that they had joined the protests since the delay had a direct impact on when they would be posted upon graduation.
Graduate doctors and medical students stage protests outside Afya House on February 12, 2023.
According to the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council (KMPDC), medical and dental students upon graduation must embark on a 13-month-long internship program.
“We hope that in participating in this peaceful protest, we shall secure the timely posting of these interns, and restore the faith in medical students for a brighter future,” Saxena remarked.
The procedure for posting interns is detailed in the National Guidelines for Internship Training of Medical and Dental Officer Interns (2019).
“Interns shall be posted within a month upon successful completion of their training and passing of the final examination, graduation notwithstanding; or passing of Council’s Internship Qualifying Exams,” the guidelines read in part.
The interns are also supposed to start receiving salaries two months after the commencement of the internship program.
It was reported that most of the graduate doctors finished their studies in July 2023 but no information was forthcoming from the Ministry of Education about their posting.
In December 2022, there was a similar standoff between graduate doctors and the national and county governments.
At the time, to avert a strike, CS Nakhumicha directed that all medical interns be posted in batches beginning January 2023.
The CS is yet to issue a similar directive on the protesting graduate doctors seeking internship placements.
Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha addresses the public during a public participation exercise in Makueni County on February 5