July 2017 Dailynation;Doctors have asked the government to amend the Health Bill 2015 in order to improve access to services, and resolve the ongoing nurses’ strike.
The appeal comes a day after signing acollective bargaining agreement with the government.
Speaking during the third annual delegates’ conference at Crowne Plaza in Nairobi on Saturday, Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists Union secretary-general Ouma Oluga said the union wants the sector to be of benefit to patients.
“Kenyans have a right for better services and therefore this Bill must be amended to ensure that patients do not continue to suffer,” Dr Oluga said.
In 2015, governors told MPs to redraft the Health Bill because it undermines the functional, procurement and financial autonomy of counties in health.
They also said the Bill, which aims to take the management of level five hospitals, previously known as provincial hospitals, from the counties back to the national government, does not fully recognise that there are two levels of government, which are functionally distinct.
Dr Oluga called on the national and county governments to end the nurses’ strike that has been on for close to a month.
They went on strike over failure by county governments to actualise the CBA agreed on in December last year that ended their strike.
“We cannot have politicians campaigning across the country yet patients are suffering in public hospitals because there are no nurses to attend to them,” he said.
Dr Oluga further urged Nasa and Jubilee to scrutinise their pledges on health, to ensure they are feasible.
He added that health workers want to be receiving their salaries on time.
Also in attendance was Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo who said the government should provide hospitals with adequate funds.
“The money allocated for maternal health and other services should be released and then ask for accountability and not the opposite,” he said.