Hiring of additional medics due to COVID-19 disrupted by wrangles between National and County Governments

By Nzioka Justin | Monday, Apr 6th 2020 at 10:21
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The wrangles between the central and county governments could deal a blow to fighting against COVID-19 in Kenya. This is after the two parties sharply differed on who should recruit the medics.

Recently, the Council of Governors chair Mr. Wycliffe Oparanya ordered the Health CS Mutahi Kagwe, and the Public Service Commission (PSC) chair Mr. Stephen kirogo to suspend the exercise and let the counties undertake it.

Through the letter, governor Oparanya pointed an accusing finger to the national government for violating the law, which allowed the counties to hire medical staff.

"It is important to note that under Schedule Four of the Constitution, health is a devolved function and recruitment of such staff can only be undertaken by the county public service boards," stated part of the letter.

A week ago, PSC placed an advert for 5,500 posts for health recruits on a contract basis. This was in an attempt to step up the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Yesterday, H.E Oparanya vowed not to watch the national government perform a duty that was meant for county governments. PSC had intended to hire medics for a duration of three years, as stated on their website.

The targeted lot included laboratory technicians, public health officers, clinical officers, radiographers, community health workers, nurses, and pharmaceutical technologists.

The Cabinet Secretary for Public Service Ms. Margaret Kobia has said that this is not the right time to fight over who should do what. PSC only meant to quicken the process, and once the online applications are received, they were to be sent to counties for recruitment purposes based on the needs of counties.

The doctors expressed their disappointment with the advert by the PSC. They [doctors] claimed that the advert had locked professional doctors out.

The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) stated that there were about 1,000 jobless medics in their database, and who had been left out.

KMPDU chair Samuel Oroko stated that this was not the best time to wage war, but to increase in the fight against the global pandemic. However, he said that doctors should also have been included in the recruitment list.

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