NAIROBI, Kenya March 5 – Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) has proposed the sharing of functions in the health sector between the national, county governments and a proposed independent Health Service Commission (HSC).
Appearing before the Senator Yusuf Haji-led Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) steering committee on Wednesday, KMPDU Secretary General Ouma Oluga said the health commission should handle health workers in all hospitals (county, teaching and national).
“The coordination issues affecting health workers that include access,capacity, needs, deployment, discipline and recruitment, equitable distribution and termination of health workers should be handled by the commission,” Oluga said.
In their memoranda, the union said that county governments should focus on Level I and II hospitals together with primary health care facilities including preventive functions while the national government handle levels III, IV, V and VI.
“Health function should remain with the counties and funds should follow functions. We need a stronger focus on preventive and primary care,” Oluga said.
The union also proposed the creation of a National Referral Service Authority which will manage all the Level V and national referral hospitals under one unit of tertiary care.
Oluga said the authority will boost coordination between referral hospitals and minimize conflicts and inconveniences.
“The authority may be tasked with regulating and overall supervision of management teams in the referral hospitals and setting standards for efficient management,” the union stated.
Mwachonda Chibanzi, the union’s deputy national secretary general proposed 15 per cent budget allocation to health care at the national level.
In order to attain a favorable doctor to patient ratio, KMPDU’s Oluga asked the BBI steering committee should ensure government employs, absorbs and deploys all trained doctors and health workers until the country attains international standards of access to health care.
Kenya has a 1: 17,000 doctor to patient ratio against the required ratio of 1:1,000
“In order to attain the minimum standards of doctor to patient ratio, we can do five year or ten year and absorb all of them as a way of improving, we should also declare that for all health workforce,” he said.
KMPDU National Chairperson, Samuel Oroko said that county governments should have representatives in the Health Service Commission saying that human resource in health sector does not feel well represented in the county level.
“If we do not change this, people in Kenya will continue to suffer,human resource in health don’t feel well represented and well managed in county level especially public sector. We are subjecting Kenyans to a a demoralized workforce,” Oroko said.