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KENYA:Fresh dispute erupts after medical interns hit by salaries reversal shock

May 2017 BusinessDaily;

Medical interns posted in government hospitals across the country have protested against the reversal without explanation of salaries that were paid into their bank accounts last week.

At least 335 out of a total 725 interns posted in different State hospitals are pointing fingers at their employer, the Ministry of Health, for the confusion.

The Nairobi Branch secretary of the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU), Thuranira Kaugiria, Monday said the interns had lodged complaints at Afya House, the ministry headquarters.

“We need to know what is happening since some accounts have been overdrawn… we don’t know where the money went to,” Dr Kaugiria said in an interview.

“We have contacted the Ministry as a union and all they say is that they are sorting out with KCB (their bankers).”

Most of the current interns were posted last April but due to last year’s 100-day strike they are late to clear the compulsory 12-month training.

Sh2.4bn annually

The Health ministry sets aside Sh2.4 billion annually for the medical interns’ salaries.

The interns have gone five months without salaries since last December, shedding light on the plight of fresh doctors who offer primary care in government health facilities.

Dr Kaugiria said that the majority of those affected in the current mix-up are doctor interns that bank with KCB and Co-operative banks.

Bank statements seen by the Business Daily show that some medical interns’ accounts were either grossly overpaid or underpaid, as per the standard salary set for Job group L.

The standard net pay for interns is Sh90,000.

One pay slip of a medical intern who banks with KCB, for instance, showed Sh184,641 was credited as salary from the ministry on May 11, only for his account to be debited the following day leaving him with a negative  balance of (Sh571,942).

Another account received Sh284,678 from the Ministry on May 11, but the amount was fully reversed the following day.

“I got Sh284,678 then they removed Sh80,000 first then another Sh284,000 was deducted. They added another Sh80,000 after the deductions – it is confusing since we do not get pay slips thus have no proof of pay.”

According to the Health principal secretary, Julius Korir, the process of designing personal numbers for payslips takes a while and they did not want “interns to suffer before they got paid”.

“Sometimes it takes three to four month

 

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