The Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report is seeking to create a Health Commission which will be tasked with setting national standards for their training, recruitment, welfare, career development and schemes of service.
The BBI Taskforce is recommending an amendment to the Health Act, 2017 to provide for the establishment of a ten member National Health Services Commission.
The chairperson of the Health Commission will be the Health Cabinet Secretary while the Chief Executive Officer shall be an ex officio member and Secretary to the Commission.
“The Commission shall comprise two representatives nominated by County Governors; one person nominated by the Public Service Commission; one representative nominated by health regulatory bodies established under an Act of Parliament; one representative nominated by trade unions of healthcare workers registered under the Labour Relations Act; one representative of faith-based organizations involved in health care; two persons with expertise and knowledge in matters related to human resource management in healthcare; competitively recruited and appointed by the Cabinet Secretary,” the Bill read.
Among the proposed functions of the Commission include; to setting and regularly reviewing norms and standards on the transfer of health workers at the inter-country level and health workers from one level of government to the other as well as resolving disputes between employers and health care workers in public service both at the national and county levels and accredit health institutions.
The funds of the Commission shall consist of monies allocated by Parliament for purposes of the Commission.
“Any grants, gifts, donations or other endowments given to the Commission; such funds as may vest in or accrue to the Commission in the performance of its functions under this Act or under any other written law. Any funds donated or lent to, or gift made to the Commission shall be disclosed to the National Assembly and made public before use,” the Bill states.
The Secretary, who shall be recruited through an open, transparent and competitive recruitment process, shall hold office for a term of three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment for one further term.
“A person shall be qualified for appointment as Secretary to the Commission if that person— is a citizen of Kenya; holds a degree from a university recognized in Kenya; has knowledge and experience of not less than ten years in any of the following fields—law; public administration; or human resource management in healthcare,” read the Bill.
Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists’ Union (KMPDU) has been calling for the Commission as it will be a solution for the turmoil is attributed to the mismanagement of workers across the counties, lack of medical supplies and inadequate financing of the sector.