Health workers unions submit views on proposed increase of NHIF deduction to 2.75%
The unions which presented their memoranda before Ministry of Health officials on the second day of public participation also want more professionals employed to support the running of health facilities for UHC to be a success.
On his part, Medical Services Principal Secretary Harry Kimutai says the proposal to deduct 2.75 per cent of salaries is not cast in stone and that there is room for amendments through the public participation forum.
For the second day running, the MoH officials held a public engagement with stakeholders to collect their views on the four bills proposed to spearhead the implementation of Universal Health Coverage.
Health workers unions’ officials led by KMPDU, KUCO, and Public Health who appeared before the team called for a proper cost of how Universal Health Coverage will be delivered before the collection of the funds from Kenyans.
“What I have not seen you do is cost this... so we are planning to collect money but we don’t know how much we are going to spend on it. At the time, the cost rate was about Ksh.42 billion that was needed...” Dr Kizito Shisanya, the Legal Committee Chair, KMPDU said.
The other concern of the unions is the lack of enough personnel and other professionals to support health workers in level two and level three hospitals.
“These facility managers are not empowered in terms of management of finance, how do we focus to ensure that there will be someone to support them … So that we do not accuse our people thereafter of mishandling finance and yet they are not trained,” General Secretary, Kenya Union of Clinical Officers George Gibore stated.
Chairman, Kenya Union of Clinical Officers Peterson Wachira added: “My suggestion would be we change from the sub-county medical officer to probably sub-county health officer so that we are in line with that Judgement and that we can provide for a transparent system where anybody with experience and capacity can hold that position.”
On her part, Branch Treasurer Nyanza, KMPDU Dr Lyndah Kemunto said: “We need to see the roles and scopes of every cadre at least represented in the bill for instance the govt has invested in doctors going to Cuba and the model they have for primary healthcare is actually the work we are putting here community health promoters to do. Actually, in Cuba, it is done by doctors.”
Recommendations that Medical Services Principal Secretary Harry Kimutai says will be considered as they engage with more stakeholders.
Kimutai has also given an assurance that the contents of the draft bill are subject to change including the proposal to deduct 2.75 percent of salaries.
“There is nothing that is fixed and that is why in law we provide for amendments... We are coming up with legislation to bring everybody on board and if you bring everybody on board you will enjoy what is called the economics of scale,” said Kimutai.
On Thursday the team is expected to meet with the Council of Governors who will present their views on the Social Health Insurance Bill, Primary Healthcare Bill, Digital Health Bill and Facility Improvement Financing Bill.
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