Health CSO’s Want A Strong Health Service Commission – By Eddy Nyadwa

HENNET National Coordinator Dr. Mercy Onsando addressing media

Health NGOs Network, HENNET is calling for the establishment of a powerful health service commission to help address challenges facing the health sector. Led by HENNET National Coordinator Dr. Mercy Onsando, the network members assert that the health sector requires special attention.

“We recognize and applaud the recommendation to form the health service commission since the health sector requires special attention in handling human resources for health. There is also need to be clear on the mandate and responsibility of the new institution in handling matters health in the country” Dr. Onsando said.

With health function already devolved, many counties have been facing a myriad of challenges. Chief among these challenges has been strikes from nurses and medical officers. Allocation of funds for health function has also been a challenge, with some governors accused of allocating so little.

According to John Paul Omollo of Path, the health services commission will help curb the unrest and streamline the sector.  “A strong health service commission will sort health care issues among them deal with the rampant strikes from doctors and nurses, address issues to do with placement, promotion, and remuneration.” He said. 

Already, the BBI report contains numerous proposals to strengthen the health function in the counties. Some of the key observations include retaining health as a devolved function, improving NHIF efficiency and making the billing process effective.

Dr. Osando also faulted NHIF for benefitting private hospitals instead of the public hospitals “ It is sad that in this country, 85% of NHIF funds have been remitted to big private hospitals that service the rich and mighty and a paltry 15% reimbursed to public hospitals that Wanjiuku goes to”  She adds that if public hospitals receive more NHIF remittance, they would improve the quality of service and hence they ought to be supported.

Hennet is a network NGO that brings together, stimulates linkages and strategic partnership among health NGOs, government and private providers.