Uhuru's reservations on key Health Laws

President Uhuru Kenyatta addresses a high-level breakfast meeting of African leaders on Africa Renaissance, on the sidelines of the 32nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union. President Uhuru Kenyatta has referred back to Parliament various health bills. [Photo: Standard]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has referred five Bills on health back to the National Assembly.

In his communication to National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, Uhuru raised concerns about clauses on Pharmacy and Poisons Act, Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act, Nurses Act, Counsellors and Psychologists Act and the Clinical Officers Act.

On the Pharmacy and Poisons Act (Cap 244), the President has made reservations on Section 2, on the definition of the terms pharmaceutical device, pharmaceutical equipment, pharmaceutical product and good manufacturing practice.

Uhuru also wants Section 3 on the establishment of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board, the new Section 3b on the functions of the Pharmacy and Poisons Board and Section 24 on deletion of the word "a pharmacist" and its substitution with the phrase “pharmaceutical practice” re-looked at.

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About the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Act, the President has expressed reservations about the new section 4b relating to the powers of the newly established Kenya Medical and Dental Council.

On provisions relating to the Nurses Act, the President has made reservations on Section 4 on membership of the Nursing Council of Kenya, Section 9 on functions and annual report of the Nursing Council of Kenya and Section 11 on determination of remuneration and allowances by the Nursing Council of Kenya.

Under the provisions relating to the Clinical Officers Act, Uhuru has expressed reservations on Section 4(1) providing for the composition of the Clinical Officers’ Council and representation of other institutions in the Council.

“The President having exercised his powers under Article 115 (1)(b) of the Constitution now requests the National Assembly to reconsider the bills, against his reservations and the recommendations proposed against each of the reservations and amend the bills in light of his reservations,” said Muturi.

Standing Order 154 requires the National Assembly to consider the President’s reservations within 21 days.

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The President's reservations have been committed to the Departmental Committee on Health for consideration.

The committee should table its report by February 28 to enable the House to conclude with the bills within the stipulated timelines.

And to overturn the President’s memorandum, the House will be required to marshal two-thirds of the members.

However, passing the reservations only requires a simple majority.

“The voting threshold for the passage of amendments proposed by a committee or an individual member that have the effect of fully accommodating the President’s reservations is a simple majority,” said Muturi.

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Also, Uhuru has reservations on the Counsellors and Psychologists Act. They relate to establishment, membership, functions and election of the chairperson, members and Committees of the Council of the Kenya Counsellors and Psychologists Society.

President Uhuru KenyattaBills on healthMedical Practitioners and Dentists ActNurses ActClinical Officers ActRejectParliament