AT LOGGERHEADS

Governors protest PSC listing of 5,550 health jobs

Public Service CS Margaret Kobia says move was to hasten the process

In Summary

•Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya says the advert was not part of the agreement reached by stakeholders.

•COG says since health is a devolved function, such recruitment can only undertaken by the service boards.

Health workers at Lodwar County referral hospital putting on gears to prevent Covid19 infection.
Health workers at Lodwar County referral hospital putting on gears to prevent Covid19 infection.
Image: Hesborn Etyang

Governors have protested against the Public Service Commission for advertising health jobs yet the function is devolved.

PSC called for the listing of 5,550 health workers of various cadres as part of efforts to complement the workforce on the battlefront against coronavirus.

In the mass listing, PSC seeks to recruit 500 registered clinical officers; at least 2,000 registered nurses, and 200 pharmacists.

There are also openings for 200 medical laboratory technologists; 100 community oral health officers; 50 radiographers; 500 assistant public health officers; 500 enrolled nurses; and 1,500 community health assistants.

Interested persons were asked in the advertisement by PSC secretary Stephen Kirogo to apply for the jobs online.

President Uhuru Kenyatta directed that more health workers be hired to support the frontline actors in the fight against Covid-19.

Our previous consultations on this matter resolved that the respective county public service boards will undertake the recruitment of staff, therefore the advert should allow the county governments undertake this process
CoG chairman Wycliffe Oparanya

But governors say the plan, as being implemented, will not work as the function of hiring health staff is a preserve of the county public service boards.

Council of Governors chairman Wycliffe Oparanya said in a letter to Health CS Mutahi Kagwe and Kirogo that the move contradicts their initial agreement.

“Our previous consultations on this matter resolved that the respective county public service boards will undertake the recruitment of staff, therefore the advert should allow the county governments undertake this process,” Oparanya says in his April 3 letter.

The Kakamega governor further reasoned that since health is a devolved function, such recruitment can only be undertaken by the service boards.

 

He cited the County Governments Act which states that a county shall be responsible for any function assigned to it under the Constitution.

Public Service CS Margaret Kobia, when contacted, said the PSC undertook the listing to fasten the process.

She told the Star that after the applications are received by PSC, they will then forward to each county public service board to hire as per their needs.

“Should there be an issue, both levels of government will agree on the approach as we have no much time,” Kobia said.

The CS said the government’s concern was that some counties have weak public service management with some lacking the requisite boards.

But Oparanya wants the PSC to adhere to the laws on the establishment of county staffing as spelled in Article 235 of the Constitution.

“The Act states that the boards shall regulate the engagement of persons on contract, volunteer, and casual workers, staff or joint ventures and attachment of interns in its public bodies and offices.”

Governors want the PSC to withdraw the advert and readvertise the same with indications that the positions are available in the counties.

“This is to enable the county public service boards to undertake the recruitment process to fill up the positions,” the governor said.

The letter is copied to Health PS Susan Mochache, all governors, all Health CECs, county secretaries, public service boards, Health chief officers, and chairman of the Intergovernmental Relations Committee.

More health workers are being sourced in preparation for any emergencies that may emerge in case of mass coronavirus infections.

The country has 126 covid19 cases from tests conducted on over 1,700 samples - largely in the country's quarantine facilities.

 

Edited by E.Kibii