Market News

SRC to benchmark doctors’ pay against their regional peers


SRC chairperson Lyn Mengich gestures during a press briefing on May 15, 2019. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

The salaries’ agency wants to survey earnings of East African Community (EAC) doctors and use the findings to determine the appropriate pay for Kenyan doctors amid continued clamour for pay rises.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) is seeking a consultant to carry out a salary survey in public and private hospitals in 264 public and private hospitals spread across six countries.

The findings, SRC says, will provide lessons on the best salary structure designs, and remuneration practices to guide it in establishing the market remuneration rate for local doctors.

“Similarity in salary structure designs in member states will promote labour stability in the region,” says SRC.

The benchmarking process will start mid next month and comes on the back of increased push for pay rises among Kenyan doctors.

Doctors in Kenya have on several occasions downed their tools citing poor and delayed pay, long working hours and poor working conditions.

The latest strike came late December when doctors took to the streets to demand better pay, medical insurance cover and protective equipment in the face of Covid-19 pandemic.

Many doctors have been juggling between public and private service to maximise their returns in what has contributed to the fall in the quality of services in public health facilities.

Some doctors have also opted to leave the country in search for better remuneration overseas, worsening the doctor-to-patients ratio.

Kenya had 13,378 registered doctors and dentists in 2019, a slight rise from 10,300 five years ago. About 25 doctors serve 100,000 people compared to 21 five years ago.

The SRC salary survey for benchmarking jobs will cover medical and administrative staff in public and private hospitals within Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

It will assess the size of pay and salary structures in 22 public and 22 private hospitals in each EAC member state.

The survey is in line with SRC Act which requires it to conduct comparative surveys on labour markets and trends in remuneration to determine the monetary worth of the jobs of public officers.