SRC to study global medics salaries in pay plans for Kenya health workers

Lyn Mengich

Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairperson Lyn Mengich at a press briefing in Nairobi on October 7, 2021. PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

The salaries agency wants to survey the earnings of health workers in select countries and use the findings to review the pay of their Kenyan counterparts amid a clamour for a raise.

The Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) seeks a consultant to conduct a salary survey in 10 local private facilities and hospitals in 20 countries.

The findings are expected to provide lessons on the best salary structure designs and remuneration that could motivate health workers to work at home.

“The survey will sample 20 countries — in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Australia- selected based on justification such as those that Kenya loses her health workers to,” said SRC in a notice.

The selection of countries for benchmarking will also be based on those with good health systems as per recent ranking by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The WHO ranks France, Italy, Spain, Oman, Austria and Japan among the countries with the best overall health care.

The benchmarking early next month comes on the back of an increased push for pay rise among Kenyan health workers who have on several occasions engaged in industrial action citing poor and delayed pay, paralysing the health system.

The latest boycott happened at the start of last year when they went on a month-long strike amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Council of Governors (CoG) had rejected a deal between the Kenya Union of Clinical Officers and the State, citing a lack of budgetary allocation and consultation.

The governors poked holes into the deal, saying increasing risk allowance to only two cadres would have a ripple effect in the health sector, noting that the changes required the approval of the SRC.

The workers have blamed the CoG for the woes in the health sector since the onset of devolution in 2013, saying it has led to numerous strikes.

The survey by the SRC will assess 20 health worker jobs in each sampled facility. The survey is in line with SRC Act, which requires the agency to conduct surveys on labour markets to determine public officers’ pay.

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