Judge questions validity of case on devolution of medical services
24 December 2013, 15:05
Nairobi - A
judge has questioned petitioners in a suit challenging misinterpretation of a
gazette notice by the Transition Authority which officiated devolution of
Court judge Mumbi Ngugi demanded to know why the petitioner wanted the new suit
on devolution of health services be heard yet a similar one was
finalized last week by a three judge bench.
Justice Mumbi not yet convinced by the petitioners’ explanation, directed the
Transition Authority and the Attorney General to respond to the suit but
carefully counter check on whether the suit addresses issues raised in last
Kenya National Union of Nurses is enjoined in suit, parties to consider the
judgment and address court in whether same issues have been raised and
respond,” Justice Ngugi said.
petitioners, human rights activists Okiya Omtatah and Wycliffe Nyakina Gisebe
told court the two cases are different as the initial one tackled proper
management of an illegality in the devolution of health service while the new
suit seeks to show that there is a misinterpretation process which has resulted
to provision of health services crisis.
Nurses’ Union Secretary General Seth Panyako and lawyer Enonda Dickson said
they needed to shed light into the issues raised as they directly affect health
workers hence their interest in being enjoined in the case.
two activists filed the suit last Friday claiming that the distribution
of health functions from national referral facilities to county health facilities
is unconstitutional and are challenging a gazette notice effecting the
Omtatah and Mr Gisebe argue that devolution of health services means that
distribution of health functions is to be divided into sections between the
national government and county governments and has resulted to the current
confusing crisis within the health sector.
activists argued that the Transition Authority, the Attorney General and the
Council of Governors operationalized the distribution of health functions to
counties through a legal notice published in the Kenya Gazette on August 9,
contrary to schedule 4 of the constitution on the distribution of functions
between the national government and county governments.
alleged illegal legal notice purports the transfer of Level 2 to Level 5 health
facilities that constitute the national referral health system from the
national government to the county government.
case will be January 13 before Justice George Odunga.