Kenya Healthcare Federation – Human Resources for Health Committee held their first meeting this year to outline HRH focus areas for 2018. The meeting which was chaired by Mr. Kennedy Auma touched on the major HRH challenges the committee wishes to tackle throughout the year.
Harmonization and recognition of human resources in Kenya is a strategic area that the committee intends to venture in, in terms of research and possible stakeholder collaboration opportunities. This committee plans to outline clear schemes of services for both standardization and staffing norms.
In light of Kenya’s Vision 2030, this committee seeks to tackle the severe shortage of specialized health workers across the country by tackling on the seventeen specialized healthcare professionals through training, education and labour market absorption. Focus will however be directed towards Emergency Medical Care, Health Record & Information Officers and Community Health Workers as developed from the Multi Stakeholder Partnership (MSP) introductory workshop by KHF held on 26th January 2018. This is because the three do not have strong schemes of service. Focusing on the three selected cadres, the committee agreed on creating a database for schemes of service as well as carry a need assessment analysis to ensure training of fit for purpose healthcare workers.
Training of leaders of professional unions is an important task that the committee will venture in this year. From the discussion, most of the strikes are caused by misunderstandings and if the union leaders are well trained, they will be more diplomatic in their dealings.
The meeting was graced by a presentation on “Introduction to Corvus Workforce Services” by Dr. Kate Tulenko from Corvus Health. Her presentation depicted a labor intensive health sector. “If you get your labor wrong, then you get your budget wrong because HR makes decisions on costs”, she said. Dr Tulenko expressed the difference between a permanent payroll and a contract based healthcare worker towards achieving a work life balance.
The meeting was well attended by HRH members namely: AMREF Healthcare, Corvus Health, Nestle Kenya, AAR, Association of professional Coders, Emergency Medical Kenya Foundation, PS Kenya and Kenya Medical Women Association. There is great opportunity ahead for the HRH sector to successfully strengthen the health workforce through a combination of long-term, strategic decisions and targeted immediate/short term measures, increased health workforce officers, improve HR information systems, and scaled-up education.