Govt sets up unit to handle health workersand#039 issues

Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia Thursday ruled out the formation of a Health Service Commission for health workers saying such a move would be unconstitutional since healthcare is a devolved function.

Mr Macharia instead said the government is working on a special administrative unit specifically dedicated to tackle health workers’ issues to be established within the Public Service Commission (PSC) to address the  workers’ issues.

The unit, expected to be ready in a month’s time would handle issues such as promotion, training and transfers that the health workers have been grappling with, according to the CS.

Mr Macharia said that the Council of Governors, ministry representatives and PSC and other relevant stakeholders will be involved to ensure the idea is universally acceptable.

LONGTERM SOLUTIONS

He was accompanied by the Director of Medical Services, Dr Nicholas Muraguri and Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board (KPMB)hief Executive Officer, Mr Daniel Yumbya

Mr Macharia revealed that the ministry had held negotiations with PSC and the head of Public Service, Mr Joseph Kinyua and agreed that such a unit, would offer long term solutions to the health crisis.

READ: Macharia rules out health sector reversal

He downplayed claims that there were plans to return health functions to the national government, saying the challenges being experienced are due to uncertainty by the health workers when they heard that they could work under counties.

“The turbulence in the human resource management was expected. It will be naïve to assume that the teething problems could not have been there in such a dramatic move, to devolve staff,” Mr Macharia said.

The senators insisted that the national government must be committed to work with governors to ensure the gains realised under devolution are not derailed due to human resource issues that have threatened service delivery at the counties.