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Patriotism needed to retain skilled labour, says Chiwenga

by Staff reporter
07 Nov 2021 at 07:11hrs | Views
VICE-President and Minister of Health and Child Care General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga says patriotism is the motivating factor that should see the country retaining its specialised and skilled personnel.

The professionals, he said, must strive to utilise their skills in the country in a bid to improve the health delivery system while also promising to bring on board nurses in the private sector to benefit from special facilities that the Government is offering to its health workers.

Dr Chiwenga was speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural graduation ceremony of Intensive Care Unit and Coronary Care Nurses at St Phillips School of Nursing at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo on Friday.

Dr Chiwenga said the country was dogged by a shortage of specialists who are offering their services in the region and beyond largely because of limited service of condition packages as well as poor remuneration which he said will be looked into with urgency.

Last month CURE Children's Hospital in Bulawayo welcomed back home Dr Tonga Chitsamatanga, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who had been training in the United Kingdom who volunteered to return and offer his specialist services locally.

"We have to be guided by patriotism to have the love of our country, our nation, our people yet we are fully aware that there have been challenges in terms of conditions of service and the Government has now seen these problems.

As a Government we are now addressing these challenges which include among others accommodation, transport, cafeterias at hospitals, equipment that is used at hospitals for the treatment of patients and that which they take home, the salaries, are being looked into," said Dr Chiwenga.

He said Zimbabwe has trained a lot of health practitioners who are sought after regionally and internationally.

"We know we have lost a lot of our people and because of the outbreak of the pandemic, other countries who had not trained sufficiently enough and more so the developed countries have been poaching our specialists. Zimbabwe is known to train the best of clinicians in all the areas and so all these people were now being taken, some going to the United States, Canada, Ireland, UK, Australia and here in the region to South Africa, Namibia they were going to those places," he added.

He said there was a need to retain the skilled labour and to evoke instruments that seek to protect countries from losing much of their skilled labour to neighboring countries and beyond.

"But we also want the education that has been imparted to work here, they must have a sense of patriotism to work here and work and protect their own people.

At the same time, we are not also going to be standing  akimbo, we are going to discuss what is contained in the United Nations instruments that countries which go to other countries to poach professionals who have been trained, what obligations do they have and so we are looking into those areas."

Source - The Sunday News
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