Governors protest exclusion from UHC implementation

 

Medical student Michelle Wambui takes the public through patient care procedures during the UHC Expo at Kapkatet Stadium in Kericho County on October 18, 2023. [File, Standard]

The move by governors to skip the launch of Sh3 billion stipends payment for community health promoters by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua on Friday was to express displeasure over failure to fully devolve functions stipulated in the Constitution, it has emerged. 

The Council of Governors has now invited 18 governors for a meeting in Nairobi on Thursday to take a common stand over the National Government's decision to sidestep county officials in execution of health, housing and trade functions across counties.

In a letter to the governors, Chief Executive Officer Mary Mwiti cited the channeling of budget support for devolved functions through National Government ministries, departments and agencies at the counties.

“Despite continuous written communication from the Council of Governors to National Government, efforts to address these concerns have proven futile. In light of this, the Council of Governors is proposing a joint meeting with 18 Governors representing the affected sectors to delve into these emerging challenges,” said Mwiti.

Apart from the issue of the stipends, the governors will also deliberate on timely disbursement of county government allocations and the import of the three health Acts to the counties.

The proposed agenda for the meeting will also include Implementation of the markets development programme and implementation of the affordable housing programme, including the Affordable Housing Bill.

According to CoG, there was a deliberate use of members of Parliament to roll out these programmes and projects disregarding the constitutional role of counties, which is causing a lot of disorder.

During the launch for the stipend payment to health promoters at his Karen residence, Gachagua lauded them for their crucial role in advancing primary health care under the Bottom Up Economic Transformation Agenda highlighting the necessity of cooperation between the national and county governments.

He defended the introduction of progressive health policies through the Social Health Authority to enhance healthcare quality and affordability.

CoG last week criticised the national government for dispatching nurses to work abroad while the country has got a shortage with 14 health workers for every 10,000 Kenyans pointing out that the country spends a lot of money in training only to release them to work abroad.

COG Health Committee Chairperson Muthomi Njuki said it was not fair to send health workers abroad when the country has got a serious shortage of workers in the health sector and that those countries benefitting from the works should give Kenya one off payment for compensation.

By AFP 1 hr ago
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