INDEPENDENT HSC

Nurses promise to back BBI for proposing health commission

HSC will independently address challenges facing health workers

In Summary

• Health is a devolved function but doctors, nurses and health workers have been complaining that governors cannot handle the sector. 

• Union says if parliament does not approve BBI, members will give it over 10 million votes to facilitate its passing.  

Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako in Nairobi on June 16
IN SUPPORT: Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako in Nairobi on June 16
Image: ENOS TECHE

Nurses have promised to support the Building the Bridges Initiative report which was launched on Wednesday by President Uhuru Kenyatta and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

The report proposes the establishment of a Health Service Commission which will be equivalent to the Teachers Service Commission and Judicial Service Commission.

Health is a devolved function but doctors, nurses and health workers have been complaining that governors cannot handle the sector.

Over the years, doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been agitating for the establishment of HSC which will independently address challenges facing health workers that have led to a number of national strikes over the years. 

On Wednesday, Kenya National Union of Nurses secretary general Seth Panyako said all health professionals will support the BBI report and vote for it.

Speaking on the sidelines of the KNUN two-day conference at Wild Waters Mombasa, Panyako said he is sure that all health workers in Kenya will support BBI.

“KNUN, through its lawyers, had sent a memorandum to the BBI task force asking for the establishment of the commission. For a very long time, we have been agitating to have this commission in place and we are glad that finally, something is happening,” Panyako said. 

During the making of the Constitution, Panyako said, Health Service Commission was critically left out.

The commission will be mandated with registering all trained health workers, developing job groups in accordance with the various cadres in the health sector and developing promotion criteria that will ensure retention of an experienced health workforce, according to the union.

If established, the HSC will also exercise disciplinary control over health workers. It will be vested with powers to terminate the employment of workers in the health service and put in place the requisite compensation for health workers in hardship counties. 

“If Parliament does not support the BBI, we urge the President to come to the public and we shall vote for it with over 10 million votes,” Panyako said.

Edited by R.Wamochie