•The unions on Tuesday further called on the national government to release with immediate effect funds to counties
•They noted that the current blame game between the national and county governments is unwarranted
The health unions are demanding that the Ministry of Health constitutes a joint national task force to conduct an audit and provide long-term solutions to the numerous challenges facing health service delivery in Kenya.
The unions on Tuesday further called on the national government to release with immediate effect funds to counties to ensure service delivery is not interrupted.
They include the Kenya Medical Practitioners Pharmacists and Dentist's Union, the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers, the Kenya National Union of Nurses, the Kenya National Union of Pharmaceutical Technologists, the Kenya Health Professional Society and the Kenya Union of Nutritionists and Dieticians.
“The worrying delay is a historical problem since devolution which continues to cripple operations in the counties thereby affecting timely payment of salaries of healthcare workers who provide crucial services,” KMPDU SG Dr Davji Atellah said.
They noted that the current blame game between the national and county governments is unwarranted and does not serve the interest of anyone especially the sick who need the health services as enshrined in the Constitution.
They now want the government to establish mechanisms to pay healthcare workers directly from a central point.
They also want the two levels of government to ensure a budget is set aside for the annual recruitment of 20,000 additional healthcare workers and counties to ensure immediate remittance of statutory deductions.
“Within seven days, counties that will not have paid the salaries and statutory deductions should not expect healthcare workers to report on duty,” the unions said in a joint statement.
They have raised concern that government employees especially those who provide essential services in the health sector are continuously hit by notifications of delayed salary payments and statutory deductions.
According to Atellah, healthcare is s public good and an essential service but unfortunately, healthcare workers cannot afford the same services they offer.
This consequently affects their standards of living and motivation hence affecting their productivity.