KENYA:protest plan to hire specialists on contract basis

April 2018 Standardmedia; Doctors union has protested against underway plans to have specialists employed on contract.

Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union(KMPDU) has said under no negotiations will they agree to the plan that had already been agreed on by Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki.

“We have doctors who are currently on contract and we are still fighting for over a year now to have them paid,” said KMPDU Secretary-General Dr Ouma Oluga.

In a communique between the ministry and other stakeholders including the private sector signed on March 28, new employment terms not to hire specialists on permanent and pensionable terms was proposed and agreed.

KMPDU was however not a signatory in that agreement.

The new terms as envisioned should make it possible for county hospitals and national facilities to share the 2,591 specialists available in the country, some of whom had earlier resorted to be lecturers in schools of medicines due to the unattractive pay for doctors at the time.

Currently, some 605 specialised doctors working as lecturers are on strike demanding backdated salaries amounting to Sh800 million aligned with the March 2017 Collective Bargaining Agreement(CBA) signed between the government, Council of Governors(CoG) and Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentists Union(KMPDU).

Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) the country’s largest referral facility is the most affected as the hospital is a study lab for 700 registrars (medical students on post graduate studies taking specialised fields) all of whom are supervised by specialised doctor-lecturers.

“We will not become victims of tender-prenuers in the Government through procurement. As health workers we are not ready to go that way whether in public or private sector,” said Oluga.

According to the agreement signed at the close of Kenya Health Forum Conference that ended March 28, players in the sector resolved to ‘introduce accelerated training in some key cadres where shortage persists across the country.

“Explore modalities for the remuneration of specialists based on performance rather than traditional full time employment with clear performance and inter-county sharing frameworks and accountability mechanisms,” read the communique agreement in part also signed by Cog representative Dr Mohammed Kuti (Isiolo Governor), Kenya Healthcare Federation Chair Amit Thakkar among others.

Wajir, Marsabit, Mandera and Vihiga are the four counties according to the medical board that have no health specialist and patients in need of specialised treatment have to be content with services of general physicians.

The resolve among the health players also seeks to establish rational and needs based training, deployment and distribution of health workers. Such will see distribution and redistribution of health workers depending on the disease burden of counties.

“Increase investments in upgrading of skills and ensure appropriate skills mix for quality service delivery including the development of guidelines for post-graduate training for doctors at the county level,” the agreement added in part.

As part of the new resolve to streamline standards of human resource in healthcare, hospitals will also be conducting random exit client interviews to gauge their rate of the facilities’ service delivery.

“Promote social and political accountability on health service delivery such as the use of scorecards and performance contracts,” it added.


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