Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) leadership today held a meeting with the Senate committee led by Senator Mandago to discuss matters related to;
- Universal Health Coverage (UHC),
- The Community Health Service (CHERP)
- Clinical Officer Interns petition.
Present in the meeting were KUCO Chairman, General Secretary, and Nairobi Branch Chairman.
Posting Of Clinical Officers Interns
The issue of Clinical Officer Interns is one of the main concerns raised during that meeting by the union. Clinical Officers interns have not been posted since August of last year, after completing their COC board exams, causing a lot of frustration and uncertainty among the more than 1,000 young healthcare workers. Clinical officers are an essential part of the healthcare system in Kenya, seeing over 80% of patients in Kenya, and the delay in posting the interns could lead to a shortage of healthcare workers in the country.
The delay in posting the interns was not the only issue that the union raised with the Senate committee. KUCO also expressed their concerns about the terms of employment under the UHC program. The program offers 3 years contract extensions instead of permanent employment terms to Registered Clinical Officers. The union argues that this is not sustainable and may lead to a brain drain and demoralisation, as healthcare workers will be seeking better job security elsewhere.
The UHC program is a flagship program of the Kenyan government aimed at providing affordable and accessible healthcare to all Kenyans. The program has been in operation since 2018 and has been met with mixed reactions from healthcare workers. Some have praised it for its efforts to provide healthcare to all, while others have criticized it for its implementation and lack of proper planning.
This meeting with the Senate committee is a step in the right direction towards finding solutions to the issues affecting healthcare workers in Kenya. Kenya Union of Clinical Officers has been advocating for better working conditions and job security for healthcare workers for years, and this meeting provides a platform for their concerns to be heard.
The delay in the posting of clinical officer interns is a cause for concern, and the government needs to act fast to ensure that the interns are posted to their respective stations. This will not only provide much-needed relief to the interns but will also ensure that there is a steady supply of healthcare workers in the country.
The issue of contract extensions under the UHC program also needs to be addressed. The government needs to provide better job security to healthcare workers to retain them and prevent a brain drain. Healthcare workers play a crucial role in the country’s healthcare system and should be treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
Final Thoughts – Way Forward For KUCO
The meeting between KUCO leadership and the Senate committee is a positive step towards finding solutions to the issues affecting healthcare workers in Kenya. The delay in posting clinical officer interns and the issue of contract extensions under the UHC program are some of the issues that need urgent attention. The government needs to act fast to address these issues and ensure that healthcare workers are given the support they need to provide quality healthcare services to all Kenyans.
Kenya Union of Clinical Officers (KUCO) has indicated that it will release an official statement on the outcome of the meeting with the Senate committee in the coming days. The statement is expected to provide more details on the issues discussed during the meeting and the proposed solutions.
This official statement from KUCO will be crucial in keeping the public and the healthcare community informed on the progress made towards addressing the issues raised. It will also provide an opportunity for the union to communicate its position and recommendations to the government and other stakeholders.
In light of the current healthcare challenges facing the country, it is essential that all stakeholders work together towards finding sustainable solutions that will improve the quality of healthcare services and working conditions for healthcare workers. The meeting between KUCO and the Senate committee is a positive step towards achieving this goal, and the union’s official statement will provide further guidance on the way forward.
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