Senate committee on health has opposed calls by the Kenya Practitioners pharmacists and dentists union- KMPDU for centralization of human resources in country’s health sector saying the demand is contrary to the spirit of devolution.
The committee also opposed the call for the formation of a health commission to oversee human resource matters in the health sector.
Speaking on Wednesday when they appeared before senate health committee, KMPDU officials led by chair Dr Oroko Samuel reiterated the need for formation of a health commission which they say will oversee issues of employment, training, promotions and handling staff file in the health sector.
The union also wants the referral hospitals to be manned by national government while other health facilities remain under county governments
”Human resource should be handled from a central point and what the senate can help, is through legislation ,by creating either a health services commission ,which should be in charge of human resource function , or create an intergovernmental agency or committee through a legislation ,and this committee should be in charge of the entire human resource functions .” Oroko said.
Most of the senators including nominated senator Zipporah Kittony and Wajir senator Hassan Abdirahman Ali sharply however differed with the health practitioners terming their demands as contrary to the spirit of devolution in the country .
Senator Abdirahman Ali insisted that counties should be allowed to bring solutions of the human resource aspect through employment.
On training, the senator said that County service public board and ministry of health has a ministerial abligations to address the matter.
”We should strike a balance so that we do not create a total collapse of these institutions, I personally hold the view that , you people can approach it with an open mind ,part of the problems we are experiencing is as a result of persistent resistance from unions in this country.” Mohammed Kuti ,the Senate committee chair said.
Kuti also asked the doctors and nurses union to relook health sector indicators so as to weigh whether the sector is deteriotating in the county level.
”Go and look at your statistics that determine health direction. health is guided by indicators and look at your health indicators and see whether since devolution ,health has moved from the wards to the
street and be discharged or if not discharged , it is on its way to be discharged from the wards or has actually sank back to ICU.” Kuti said
However Kuti said his committee will organize a stakeholders meeting which will include ministry of health, counties, senate and doctors unions to look for a solution in the matter.
This comes as health services continues to suffer following numerous strikes by health workers in various counties across the country.