5,000 Medics Write to Uhuru Over Expiry of Contracts

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta reading documents in his office
    President Uhuru Kenyatta reading documents in his office
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  • Five thousand medics who were hired for the rollout of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Universal Health Coverage program have expressed concern over the expiry of their contracts.

    In a letter dated April 8, seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the medics have appealed to President Kenyatta to consider their absorption as permanent workers.

    “Majority of us are still youths and are worried about our future by the end of these three years on contract and therefore we humbly request to be appointed as permanent employees of the county governments in the terms of Public Service Commission and Salaries & Remuneration Commission,” the letter reads in part. 

    The president and first lady at Aga Khan Hospital with doctors and midwives.
    The president and first lady at Aga Khan Hospital with doctors and midwives.
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    The five thousand medics comprise registered clinical officers, registered nurses, pharmaceutical technologists, community oral health officers, radiographers, assistant public health officers, enrolled nurses, community health assistants, and medical laboratory technologists.

    They praised the initiative and thanked the Head of State for the project which has led to improved healthcare access in counties. 

    With the retirement of President Kenyatta in 2022, the workers are anxious and wonder whether the next government will give the UHC program the same priority. 

    “As we express our gratitude, we must not forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them and you’ve clearly shown it in your work. We would like to appreciate you for granting us this opportunity to serve this great nation with all our passion,” the letter expressed.

    President Kenyatta has noted the importance of the youth in achieving universal healthcare not only in Kenya but in Africa.

    “The youth are a key constituency in driving momentum towards UHC, that should not be side-lined. We should engage with and empower our youth; giving them the knowledge and skills to take charge of their health," the President said at the 2021 Africa Health Agenda International Conference held virtually in March.

    To make the UHC aspiration a reality, the President said African nations need to focus more on the expansion of primary health, increase access to health services, make healthcare affordable and harness the innovativeness of its youth.

    The Head of State also called for stronger collaboration and coordination among stakeholders, improvement of health security, and more political will to advance the UHC agenda.

    On primary healthcare, the President said that besides providing curative medical services, priority should also be given to preventive aspects such as maternal and child health, water, sanitation, and hygiene services.

    “Currently, about 600 million people across the African continent do not have access to health services. To address this, we must make increased investments in physical facilities, medical equipment, drugs, and trained personnel,” the President said.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (third left) with other leaders during the launch of the Universal Health Care programme in Kisumu in December 2018.
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (third left) with other leaders during the launch of the Universal Health Care programme in Kisumu in December 2018.
    File