The government has entered into a deal with health workers’ unions that seeks to establish a structured collective bargaining system which ensures optimal health service delivery and inclusive growth.
The declaration on human resources for health in Kenya saw the ministries of health, public service and labour as well as the council of governors, Kenya medical practitioners’ union, national union of nurses, Kenya union of clinical officers, public health practitioners’ union, Kenya national union of laboratory officers and the Kenya human resource advisory council commit to formulate workable strategies that secure quality, affordable and accessible health services for every Kenyan.
In the deal, the actors pledged set timelines to among others; proactively support mainstreaming of existing primary health services cadres into the Primary Care Network (PCN) model to reduce duplication and promote inclusivity, develop a framework to introduce county or region-based training programs for health specialists to complement existing university residency-based programs, establish a centralized mechanism for Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) on behalf of all employers, Commitment by all health workers’ unions towards industrial harmony and peaceful relations for the period of the declaration based on the pledges contained in the declaration and provide comprehensive medical insurance coverage, including psychosocial support, for all active public sector healthcare workers.
The deal coming amid calls to enhance efficiency within the health workforce in the face of censure over alleged poor service delivery. Head of public service Felix Koskei saying there was a need to reflect on ills that continue to permeate the country’s moral fabric including corruption.
“Our gratitude must be manifested in us building a robust healthcare system that is characterized by a well- trained and well-motivated human resource, well- equipped facilities, well-stocked pharmacies, and well thought out policies and strategies fit for the challenges of 21st century healthcare. We must do this because health is the well from which we water our national prosperity, happiness, and our dreams of a better Kenya for all to collectively identify the most problematic challenges through constructive dialogue.” Noted Koskei.
Health Cabinet Secretary Susan Nakhumicha saying every healthcare worker will need to work harder to deliver the best outcomes even as the national and county governments commit to address the myriad of challenges facing the health sector.
According to Public service, performance and delivery management Cabinet Secretary Moses Kuria, the government is focused on performance and delivery saying every person in the public-sector sphere should commit to performance contracting.
“It’s about time the people of Kenya demand that everyone, whether in national or county government, signs performance contracts to measure their performance,” said Kuria.
Wednesday’s forum, which focused on fit for purpose health workforce, came on the third day of the UHC conference which will culminate in this year’s Mashujaa day celebrations to be marked at the Kericho green stadium with universal health coverage conversation expected to dominate proceedings.