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Govt to clear KMTC debts

NAIROBI, September 24 – The government has committed to pay part of a Sh173 million debt owed by the Kenya Medical Training College, Nairobi in utilities and pension arrears.

Medical Services Permanent Secretary (PS) Professor James Ole Kiyiapi said on Wednesday that the ministry would immediately release Sh70 million to clear the water and electricity bills which amount to Sh69 million.

“But I want the board to put it in writing once they clear the bills so that we don’t hear the same thing after a few years,” he stated while on a familiarisation tour of the institution.

“But there is a pending bill of pensions and also aspects related to salaries and I have just established a committee to look into this and come up with recommendations of how we can clear this bill in the shortest time possible,” he added.

The committee will consist of the institutions Chief Financial Officer Jacob Ombayo, Human Resource Officer John Obiye and their respective counterparts at the Ministry – David Nyambok and Martha Ndegwa.

KMTC, Nairobi Director Dr Timothy King’ondu said the debt was incurred before the institution became autonomous in 2001 but the then Ministry of Health failed to clear the arrears.

Dr King’ondu also stated that implementation of new salary arrears arising from salary harmonization had been slow and there were amount overdue amounting to Sh71 million by July this year.

He said the current budgetary allocation of Sh811 million was not enough to clear the debts and run the institution.

At the same time, the PS gave the board the mandate to review its fee structure upwards for both regular and parallel students.

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This followed a complaint from the management that the controlled fee structure by the ministry did not reflect the actual cost of training. The board argued that the government failed to supplement the difference of about 70 percent.

“KMTC had in the past proposed to increase the fees and the Ministry had constrained them from that but what I have told them to do is to look at it in respect of the current socio economic status of the country and also the reality of costs,” the PS said of the proposal that would be effected in all the 29 constituent colleges for the structure is similar.

Dr King’ondu on the other hand said the increment would translate to additional resources for the institution which would assist in its running.

“The government-sponsored students are being charged Sh50, 000 and the parallel (students) are also controlled at Sh70, 000 per year. Accommodation is

Sh20, 000 annually which translates to Sh54 per day,” Dr King’ondu informed.

Dr King’ondu said the academic board which consists of all the principals in the 29 colleges it runs would meet soon to agree on the increment.

He added that the institution also suffered from political pressure to expand without accompanying budgetary support naming Busia, Webuye and Kapkatet institutions, which he said were gazetted but still lacked facilities.

He also said Certificate in Community nursing course was threatened by the Nursing Council which failed to recognise and only allowed three institutions to train in the course.

The PS however said negotiations were ongoing with the council to allow the training in more institutions.

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“It is better when we have people trained in certificate than when they are not trained at all,” he said.

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