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Parliament orders release of sh500 million for healthcare workers medical cover

Health & Science - By Graham Kajilwa | November 26th 2020 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

A parliamentary committee in charge of Health has ordered that no patient should be charged for Personal Protective Equipment in a public hospital.

The National Assembly Health Committee has as well ordered the Ministry of Health and National Treasury to release Sh500 million meant to provide comprehensive cover to healthcare workers.

This should be done within seven days and a report submitted to the committee by December 2.

The committee came to these conclusions yesterday after a sit-down with officials from the Ministry of Health, National Hospital Insurance Fund, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council, Salaries and Remuneration Commission, Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Union among others.

The meeting was informed by the impending strike slated for December 7, which doctors, nurses and clinical officers have issued respective notices for.

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Payment of salaries for healthcare workers on contract, provision of medical insurance, employment of more medics – 7,000 nurses, 2,000 doctors and 3,000 clinical officers; enhancement of risk allowance are some of the issues that cut across all the cadres.

The session chaired by Cherengany MP Joshua Kutuny ended with recommendations to the Ministry of Health, National Treasury, Council of Governors and National Hospital Insurance Fund in a bid to avert the impending strike.

During the sessions it emerged that the Ministry of Health received Sh500 million passed by Parliament as a supplementary budget in April to cater for comprehensive cover for healthcare workers in 19 counties.

“I have been informed that the money came towards the end of the 2019/2020 financial year. It was too late to be utilised and the money was returned to the National Treasury,” said Health CAS Rashid Aman.

The doctors represented by KMPDU Secretary General Chibanzi Mwachonda, Chair Oroko Obegi, and Nairobi Secretary Thuranira Kaugiria requested to have the Covid-19 medical emergency allowance that was paid for just three months harmonised with their current risk allowance, a fact that did not go well with SRC Commissioner Dalmas Otieno.

“They (doctors) are now bringing an issue which we did not give a circular on. If that is what they want, they know the procedure… let them do their job, speak to their employer, who will then seek our advisory,” said Mr Otieno.


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