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All Zimbabwe qualified health professionals recruited

by Staff reporter
27 Sep 2022 at 05:48hrs | Views
ALL qualified health professionals seeking employment in the public sector have been hired, giving that group a zero unemployment rate as the Health Services Board (HSB) acts to upgrade the public health services.

Since the advent of the Second Republic, the HSB has hired 17 633 workers.

Besides replacing public health sector professionals who retire, or leave for the private sector, or create a vacancy for any other reason, there has been a major effort to expand and upgrade the public health system, which caters for the large majority of the population.

This upgrade was accelerated at the start of the Covid-19 infections and is now being maintained.

The high levels of recruitment, and the lack of any pool of unemployed who can fill vacancies in the public and private sectors, has seen previously closed training institutions reopened and new training institutions opened or planned, to increase the flow of professionals and meet Zimbabwe's expanding health needs.

The massive recruitment is part of this process and is in line with President Mnangagwa's vision of matching best international practices in the health sector as a prerequisite to attaining an upper middle income society by 2030.

The HSB said just last month another 398 nurses were hired and 37 environmental health officers joined the Government service this month.

As of yesterday, according to the HSB database, there was a small group of less than 100 environmental health graduates and diploma holders still to be recruited but the process of employing them is on course.

Of this group, 60 have degrees and the remainder diplomas, and the only reason they are still on the database as available is that most of them graduated after June this year.

But the HSB suspects that the number of environmental health technicians might be far less as already the hiring process has discovered that several have already found employment in the private sector and non-governmental organisations, but did not notify the board that they were no longer interested or available for employment in the public sector.

One group of 22 environmental health professionals were recruited for Matabeleland North this month, but turned down the offer having being employed elsewhere and so the HSB had to recruit again.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, HSB chair, Dr Paulinus Sikosana, said the board has employed all qualified personnel on their database save for the few environmental health practitioners.

Since June there simply have been no applicants waiting for a job offer.

These professionals include doctors, nurses, environmental health practitioners, physicians, radiographers, pharmacists, physiotherapists among several other health professionals who work in the health sector.

"All those willing to join have been engaged. The database is exhausted for professions like nurses, doctors and others.

"In June our database was exhausted for all health professionals. We have a few graduates in environmental health who are yet to be employed. The process to engage them is on, we are filling posts for those who have left and the new ones which were created like those manning port health centres," said Dr Sikhosana.

On top of recruiting all trained health personnel, Government has opened all training institutions which had been previously closed and new more health training institutions as part of measures to improve the staffing in institutions.

This year, the HSB has already received nursing graduates from 22 training schools. Besides these, the new facilities like the Accident and Emergency Nursing School opened in Chivhu last year are yet to release graduates, while universities which train nurses usually release graduates at the end of the year.

Zimbabwe has also opened a training institution for professionals in biomedical engineering, who are expected to boost the country's quest of strengthening the manufacturing capacity of medical consumables.

The expansion of the health sector and the recruitment and training of healthcare personnel is in line with recommendations of the World Health Organisation to boost the number of healthcare personnel to ensure the quality of care is not compromised.

WHO has noted with concern the huge shortage of healthcare personnel around the world and projects a 15 million global shortfall of health workers.

Founder and chairperson of nurses and midwives in Government, Professor Pisirayi Ndarukwa, commended the Second Republic for prioritising the training and recruitment of health personnel.

He singled out the newly established training school for biomedical engineers, which he says will boost the country's health sector by improving the research and manufacturing aspect of medical consumables.

"This will allow Zimbabwe to make its own equipment and develop new technologies, unlike in the past where everything was imported," said Prof Ndarukwa.

"All nursing schools are now running. This is good for our health system which will be guaranteed of welcoming new graduates with new ideas and enthusiasm across the country.

"We now have specialised nursing training institutions like Ingutsheni for mental health nurses, Chivhu for emergency services, institutions for midwives among others.

"This helps the improvement of our specialists' services if we now have dedicated nurses".

Source - The Herald