, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8 – The Kenya Medical Training College is the right institution mandated to admit students to medical school, Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said.
Macharia said the confusion that occurred this year was not anticipated adding that following discussions with the public service, the matter had since been resolved.
KMTC and the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services (KUCCPS) have been embroiled in a battle over who among the two state agencies has the right to admit students.
“KMTC is the body mandated to do the actual recruitment of students,” affirmed Macharia.
In late August, two students David Mburu Mwangi and Anthony Thuita Mwai sued the KMTC management for refusing to admit students selected by the agency.
KMTC had insisted it would not take in any student through the placement service and turned away all students admitted by KUPPS from its campuses.
It only admitted close to 5,000 students from its own advertisement.
Macharia however seemingly came to the rescue of 2,300 students who had applied through KUPPS saying they would not be left out.
He said the ministry was trying to ensure they got places at KMTC.
“It is not their fault as kids and as parents. For us we cannot push the children away; If they applied in KUPPS and KMTC and are qualified, they will absorbed by KMTC,” he reassured the students.
He said they will also review the capacity of the college and if there is additional space, then the remaining students will also be taken in to ensure they do not lose out due to an ‘unfortunate’ case.
Bomet Senator Wilfred Lessan questioned whether there was a need to amend the laws that formed the two institutions as it emerged that one of the Acts that brought in KUPPS repealed a list of Universities Acts but Macharia stated that KMTC was not affected by this.
“There is no controversy. KMTC Act has not been repealed and therefore its mandate continues as it is,” he added.
He also added that they were waiting for a legal opinion from the Attorney General on the matter.
The ministry is also seeking to reconcile the number of medical practitioners in the country as the unions seem to have contradicting numbers.