'No profession more special than the other': Isaac Mwaura terms doctors' pay demands as inhumane

'No profession more special than the other': Isaac Mwaura terms doctors' pay demands as inhumane

Government Spokesman Isaac Mwaura during a past meeting. PHOTO | COURTESY

Government Spokesperson Isaac Mwaura has slammed the doctors on strike saying some of their demands are unsustainable and unfair to the public.

Mwaura, who was addressing the press on Saturday, took issue with a demand by the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists, and Dentists Union (KMPDU) to have medical interns paid Ksh.206,000 per month.

He termed the figure, which KMPDU insists was in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed in 2017, as unfair to other professions.

The Spokesman argued that even the Public Service Commission (PSC) pays its interns a monthly stipend of Ksh.25,000, and that lawyers take home just Ksh.15,000 during pupillage.

He thus defended the Ksh.70,000 stipend that the government is offering to medical interns as more than fair as it amounts to even triple what their colleagues in other professions are earning, opining that they should be appreciative of the gesture.

“All of the issues that have been addressed we have taken action as government; from where we stand we have fulfilled many of those requirements, but one of the things we cannot back down on is the issue of paying interns Ksh.206,000. It is unsustainable and no profession is more important than the other,” he said.

“If you are an intern at the Public Service Commission, you are only paid Ksh.25,000. Lawyers who also take five to six years to be in class, are paid only Ksh.15,000 during pupillage.”

He added: “When you are paid Ksh.70,000, you are being paid three times more than the others who have also gone to school and got the same grades as you.”

While underscoring a doctor’s fundamental duty of saving lives, Mwaura called on the medical professionals to consider the impact of their strike on the health sector.

He also reprimanded them saying they had a duty to serve the public since most of them were trained using that very public’s funding and resources.

“I leave it to their conscience because if they themselves would want their fellow Kenyans to die in order for them to get more money, I think that is quite inhuman,” he said.

“I think it is unfair, in fact, the number of doctors that are in our institutions, the majority of them are self-sponsored students but quite a number of doctors that are already working were actually educated using public funds. It is the same public that educated you, even for the self-sponsored.”

At the same time, Mwaura reiterated the government’s earlier stance that it would not agree to an audience with the doctors before they resume work.

“We as government will continue to find solutions but we will not engage with them until they suspend the strike,” Mwaura noted.


Isaac Mwaura KMPDU Citizen Digital Interns Doctors strike

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