Effect of Devolution on the Performance of Human Resource Function in Health Sector in Kenya: The Case of Garissa County
Arale, Hassan Abdullahi
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The declaration of a new constitution of Kenya on 31st August 2010 successfully made two levels of government; the national and county governments. Establishment of health services is one of the tasks that were devolved to the county. Devolution of health functions was meant to enhance access to more-fair and top-notch health services to the Kenyan citizens. This study sought to analyze the effect of devolution on human resource performance in healthcare sector in Kenya with special focus on Garissa County. The study specific objectives included to; examine how devolution has affected recruitment of health care staff in Garissa County; to analyze how devolution has affected training of health care staff in Garissa County. The study was guided by new public management theory. The study employed a descriptive research design to examine the effect of devolution on human resource performance in healthcare sector in Kenya. The target population was the healthcare workers with management portfolios and the sample population was 184 respondents which were arrived at using stratified sampling method. Both primary and secondary data were accessed. A questionnaire was used to collect primary data. Descriptive proportions of the respondents and their cadres were derived. Qualitative data was analyzed thematically, while quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis. The findings were presented using tables and charts. The study found out that devolution has affected human resource performance in healthcare sector in Garissa County. The study established that lack of proper methods of recruitment of health care staff; lack of training of health care staff and application of ineffective methods of procurement of medical facilities hindered the performance of health care staff in the County. The study drew conclusion that the major effect of devolution on human resource performance in healthcare sector in Kenya; a case of Garissa County includes; recruitment of health care staff; training of health care staff and procurement of medical facilities. The study recommended that the County government should employ effective employee recruitment methods by hiring staff with technical expertise in health services delivery; the County government should also allocate and efficiently distribute enough financial resources to fund the recruitment exercise; the recruited staff should be better remunerated in order to improve their level of motivation and job satisfaction. The study further recommended that the County government should implement an effective and continuous employee training and development programmes on health care services delivery in the County. The County government should source and hire qualified doctors; employ enough and qualified nurses; hire enough and qualified support staff and give emphasis on hiring very experienced medical staff as lead trainers on health care services delivery in the County. The County government should adhere to all public procurement regulations in Kenya like public procurement and disposal act. The procurement methods should ensure that there is availability of medical facilities; there is a sufficient medical facility and there is high reliability of procured medical facilities in all regions in the County.