BY SILISIWE MABALEKA
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has embarked on a staff recruitment drive in a bid to address the mass exodus of health personnel at its clinics, which currently have 116 vacancies for nursing staff.
In its bid to recruit nurses, the BCC has already advertised to fill the positions.
Health director Edwin Sibanda said the issue of health staff exodus was not affecting local authority institutions only, but was a national problem.
“It is a problem that affects Zimbabwe at large as health workers seek better wages. There is a new trend where government nurses now prefer to move to local authorities where they are paid better. They also prefer the private sector which pays them in foreign currency. Others also go to work in the diaspora,” he said.
“It’s a policy issue and as a country government needs to ensure that we benefit from exported labour, and an arrangement has to be made with the destination countries.”
Sibanda urged government to welcome health workers that would have returned from the diaspora back into the sector.
Latest BCC minutes state that the city is also experiencing a shortage of health facilitators due to poor remuneration, a situation that has compromised service delivery at council clinics.
Councillor Mzama Dube raised concern over the low numbers of nursing staff at council clinics which has compromised service delivery.
Another councillor, Arnold Batirai, also raised the issues of high staff turnover at council clinics, saying that nurses were resigning on a daily basis.
Deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube said nurses at government health institutions now preferred to work at local authority health institutions.
The standards of Zimbabwean nursing staff are highly regarded in several countries, including the United Kingdom, which recently stated that the country was second to Nigeria in terms of provision of health labour to the UK.
Ncube urged residents to pay their bills on time so that the welfare and remuneration of council staff, and those in health department could be improved.
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