BY PHOEBE WANJOHI.
Kenya Association of Health Administrators have moved to court seeking to suspend the payment of allowance to frontline health workers amid Covid-19 pandemic.
Salaries and Remuneration Commission had on April 28 directed the Ministry of Health to pay Covid-19 medical allowance and benefits to health workers at the county and national level.
“This court do issue conservatory orders temporarily restraining the Ministry of Health from implementing SRC’s directive communicated vide a letter dated April 28, or making the payment of the Covid-19 medical emergency allowance and benefits for frontline health workers in national and county government,” court documents stated.
Through lawyer Danstan Omari , the administrators accuse SRC of omitting them from Covid-19 medical allowance without offering any explanation despite being on duty in hospitals.
The administrators said they are essential services providers and among the critical cadres in health care.
The association says that on the April 28, SRC wrote to the Cabinet Secretary in charge of National Treasury directing him to pay the Covid-19 medical emergency allowance and benefits for frontline health workers.
Amongst the 17 cadres forming part of the associations affiliated to the interested party, the SRC considered 16 cadres for the provision and award of the Covid-19 medical emergency allowance and deliberately omitted the administrators without offering any explanation.
“We were unjustifiably, unreasonably and callously omitted from the list of beneficiaries of the Covid-19 medical emergency allowance as proposed by the 1st Respondent yet it’s members are in charge of supervising the other beneficiaries and responsible for the smooth running of hospital operations,” they claim in the court documents.
Omari said SRC has perpetually discriminated members of the Applicants by unreasonably and arbitrarily denying them their entitlements by way of the extraneous allowances and the risk allowances while making provision for other health workers.
He further said the administrators has perpetually suffered discrimination and unequal treatment from their peers and colleagues, which injustice has been perpetuated all through and that they have been historically ignored in the provision of proper health care to Kenyans.
The association secretary general Emily Orina added that the association members are central to the smooth running of any hospital in Kenya as they are responsible for and do oversee all support services, such as maintenance of all the hospital equipment’s or machines such as ambulances.
They are in charge of supplies, all support staffs including drivers, cleaners and mortuary attendants.
“Our members are also supervisors in charge of the hospital accountants who are often seconded from the treasury and also in charge of record keeping and play a key role in the organogram of any hospital as demonstrated by the attachment marked EO3”, she added.