The Council of Governors now wants the National Government to take over the payment of doctors proceeding on study leave.
The Council’s chairperson for the Health Committee Muthomi Njuki says it is becoming “extremely strenuous” for the devolved units of government to continue paying doctors who are not offering their services to the counties while away from duty.
According to Njuki, also Tharaka Nithi County Governor, the move, albeit for a short time, would free up the payroll for recruitment of temporary doctors, at the same level of qualifications, to fill the gap left by those pursuing further studies.
“In Tharaka Nithi County, we have 36 doctors and 14 are on study leave. This leaves a huge gap especially on resources because we have to cater for their salaries, yet the courses they are on, are fully funded by the National Government,” noted Governor Njuki.
The County Chief who spoke when he received midwifery training models donated by JHPIEGO that will be used to train medical students at the county’s universities and colleges, as well as offer refresher courses to medical staff in the county’s health institutions, said there was a need for a framework that will not create a lacuna is provision of healthcare services.
He argued that the implementation of the Universal Health Coverage, as envisaged by the two levels of government needs total commitment and human resource capacitation at all times.
At the same time, the CoG health committee chairperson has called on counties to invest in refresher courses for medical staff at all levels in efforts to acquaint themselves with modern medicine and the implementation of UHC
JHPIEGO says it is willing to work closely with the Council of Governors to offer critical training on primary healthcare and full implementation of UHC by partnering with Kenya Medical Training Colleges across the country and at county medical institutions.