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Doctors undergo rigorous process to get registered

Tuesday November 22 2016
MELLYCOURT

Ronald Kiprotich Melly (right) the impostor medical superintendent at Meteitei Sub-County hospital in Nandi County, when he appeared before Kibera Law Courts on November 22, 2016. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By EUNICE KILONZO

Getting registration numbers is a lengthy process for Kenyan doctors.

It is sometimes a torturous process that involves a lot of paper work, back and forth between the medical trainee, the ministry and the internship hospital.

It begins with the completion of a medical degree after which the student takes a 12 month internship.

The year-long supervision is carried out by senior doctors and the intern is included in the payroll of the county they are posted.

But it seems, these stringent measures were either ignored or flouted for Ronald Kiprotich Melly, 28, who holds no records of ever being at the university for his medical training or ever completing internship.

But Melly holds, and presented to the Medical Board, a letter of internship posting from the Ministry of Health.

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It is this letter that landed him a posting at the Kendu Adventist Hospital for his on-job training, an internship he did not complete, records show.

In a letter dated March 25, 2016, chief of medical services, Dr Joel Marwa, wrote him a letter “reminding him” that he would not be cleared upon the lapse of his one-year internship for failing to complete it.

What is highly suspicious is how he obtained an appointment letter from the county and enter the payroll system because at the time of his arrest on Monday in Nairobi he was the Medical Superintendent at the Meteitei Sub-County Hospital.

After the internship, medical trainees submit a letter of completion and other academic documents in hard copy.

A list is then drawn up for the final posting in the counties and the now qualified doctor picks up this letter from the county. The county chief officer of health writes an acceptance letter which is forwarded to the ministry so the doctor can get a personal number.

PERMANENT REGISTRATION

The doctor is required to present their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination certificate, degree certificate and temporary license to get an appointment letter. These are handed over to the county public service board.

The doctor can then apply for permanent registration. Their practicing license is renewed annually.

This is preceded by “balloting for internship slots” based on the list of approved internship centres where depending on available slots, they pick ballot papers written “yes” and “no” on particularly competitive regions where the slot are fewer.

However, in places that are not highly contested such as Turkana County, the medical student is likely to get posted there and may not be need the ballot.

Afterward, the list of selected institutions is compiled and shared to the Ministry of Health and to the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board, this is done around November of the year of completion of course work.

In March of the following year, the health ministry writes official letters of the posting to the internship centre which then means the medical student becomes a temporary employee of the ministry of health for one year.

To pick these letters, the medical student is expected to scan all their academic documents, including clearance letter from the university in the event that the student is yet to graduate, and email them to Afya House.

For the former, the medical officer intern is required to produce among other things certified copies of professional & academic certificates, dully filled, stamped and signed Internship completion Assessment Forms and they must appear in the list submitted by deans of Accredited National Medical/Dental Schools, documents Mr Melly did not have or was not listed in.

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