Proposed Health laws put State, professional bodies at loggerheads

Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 00:00 |
KMA President Dr. Were Onyino.

The proposed Health Laws Amendment Bill 2021 has placed the government and professional bodies at loggerheads over the appointment of board members.

While the government wants to take full control of the boards, professional bodies have vowed to stay put and maintain visibility in various boards.

Professional bodies have protested inclusion of the Attorney General as well as the Health and Finance  Principal Secretaries in all the Health Regulatory Boards.

The AG’s position in all regulatory councils, the professionals claim, presents a conflict of interest in cases where a State agency is under probe.  

Most boards in the Health sector have not been constituted due to the delay in the enactment of the Bill.

Yesterday, National Assembly Health Committee chairperson Sabina Chege, told People Daily that the debate will be rushed to have the Bill passed in the first week after Parliament resumes from a short recess. 

“We do not want things to stall due to the delay in the passage of the Bill. We want to dispense it off as soon as we reopen next month,” Chege said.

The Bill has already been moved for First reading by Majority Leader Amos Kimunya, and yesterday, legal experts took members of the Health Committee through the Bill before embarking on public participation on Friday.

professional guidelines

Kenya Medical Association  (KMA), in a memorandum to the committee, has rejected the Bill in totality.

“KMA firmly rejects the proposed Health Laws Amendment Bill 2021 that seeks to remove Kenya Medical Association from all key health regulatory bodies in the sector,” the memorandum signed by KMA President Dr Were Onyino.

He states that KMA, as an established Professional Association, should not be excluded in board of these statutory institutions.    

“The precedence on regulation of professionals is very clear. This is evident from the laws governing guidelines of other professionals such as lawyers’ Law Society of Kenya,” Onyino explains.

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