KMPDU PETITIONS SENATE ON UNFAIR TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE (UHC) STAFF AND DELAY IN INTERNSHIP POSTING
The Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Union (KMPDU) on behalf of the duly registered Health Sector Unions, Associations and Societies has petitioned Senate through Sen. Samson Cherarkey concerning unfair terms and conditions of service and delay in internship posting for staff under the Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
In its Petition, the Union has stated that, in April 2020, a group of health workers were recruited under one-year Universal Health Coverage internship contract to boost efforts on achievement of Universal Health as well as aid in the fight against COVID19. They were given personal numbers but released from service after one year of service leaving a shortage that remains uncovered to date in their previous work stations. They have since been unable to get any other employment in public service as they have personal numbers under the Ministry of Health.
Further, in June 2020, at the height of COVID19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health employed about 9,000 health workers on a three-year UHC contract and deployed them in different County Government(s) whose contracts are coming to an end in May 2023. Despite diligently providing critical health services across the country since they were engaged, they have been earning half what their peers earn working in the same environment.
In February 2023, the Intergovernmental Summit sitting in Naivasha resolved that the Ministry of Health to extend the contracts of UHC staff for a further period of three year-term under the same terms and conditions.
The Union has pointed out that the staff are disturbed and demotivated by these development as they had valid expectations that they would have been absorbed on permanent and pensionable terms or their remuneration improved to be equal with their peers whom they work together under the same conditions but earning differently.
The petitioners pray to the Senate to:
1. Investigate the issues raised and intervene on the matter of discrimination and unfair remuneration of the health workers.
2. Make recommendations on such programmes including adequacy of resources, better terms of engagement.
3. Recommend appropriate measures for such programmes including internship and posting of health workers.
The Speaker of the Senate directed the petition to be committed to the Standing Committee on Labour and Social Welfare which will respond to the Petitioners by a way of Report that will be laid on the table of the Senate within sixty days.