Kenya: Calls for Government to Take Over Health Services

Doctors at the Nakuru Level Five Hospital demonstrate

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Three legislators have recommended that the health services be reverted to the national government to restore normalcy in hospitals.

Embu Senator Lenny Kivuti, area Woman Representative Rose Mitaru and Runyenjes MP Cecily Mbarire said perennial industrial action by health workers and lack of essential drugs in public hospitals show that county governments had failed to manage the sector.

Mr Kivuti urged the national government to honour the collective bargaining agreement it entered with doctors to end the ongoing doctors and health workers strike.

Ms Mitaru said some counties were struggling with acute shortage of medics and it was only fair for the role of employing and deployment of staff be done by the national government.

She said some counties had also entrenched tribalism and discourage health workers from other regions from working in their hospitals.

Speaking in Embu town on Thursday, Ms Mitaru and Mr Kivuti said there was need for the changes as county governments have proved that they were ill-prepared to handle the sector.

Addressing Riakanau residents in Gategi market, Ms Mbarire said the country made a mistake to allow county governments to run such a crucial docket.

She said the national government should manage the docket until counties prove that they are capable of running such institutions.

Ms Mbabire, who has expressed interest in the Embu gubernatorial seat, said Level Four and Level Five hospitals should be run by the national government while health centers and dispensaries should be under counties.

“What we are witnessing right now is total confusion,” she said.