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Land offer to medical practitioners welcome

Opinion & Analysis
President Emmerson Mnangagwa

THE country has faced a myriad of problems in the health sector and it is not a secret that between 2021 and 2022, Zimbabwe has lost at least 4 000 health workers for the so-called greener pastures. At least 2 300 nurses have migrated to countries like England, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Australian and Namibia, leaving many health centres grossly incapacitated.

COVID-19 hit Zimbabwe when the Western world thought the entire country was going to be decimated, alas, the country stood firm against the heinous virus. United Kingdom lost many of its health workers and the hunt for workers ensued with nurse aids being some of the most sought-after workers.

People from different professions hastened to train as nurse assistants in order to get entry visas into United Kingdom. Conmen took advantage of the desperate budding careers to fleece them of their hard-earned money with some disguising themselves as process agents of certificates of sponsorships.

The private practitioners stood firm to make Zimbabwe proud and the degree of patriotism is unmeasurable. There is no better definition of patriotism than the devotion and support that medical practitioners showed during challenging times of COVID-19 when some patients were treated for free when resources were scarce. Government should be applauded for the robust delivery of vaccines to everyone.

The vaccination process was decentralised to private clinics, hospitals and surgeries, a development which made it easier to vaccinate as many people as possible.

President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangangwa last week offered free land to medical professionals for construction of health centres, a noble, candied and judicious  idea since medical practitioners are facing insurmountable challenges in trying to access land to build surgeries, clinics, pharmacies, laboratories and hospitals.

Land is being sold at exorbitant prices that are not feasible for a new graduates who wants to practise medicine in Zimbabwe. The end result is frustration and consequent migration to greener pastures. The establishment of numerous health centres in our country will surely improve health service delivery as enunciated in the Alma-Ata Declaration of 1978 which identified primary health care as the key to the attainment of the goal of health for all.

What I know is President Mnangagwa is true to his word and what is left is the technical implementation of this health strategy. No one should sabotage the President on his vision and if we succeed in all councils, then Zimbabwe will boast of an accessible health service in the near future. It will be greatly appreciated if government organises credit facilities for medical practitioners at affordable interest rates.

The current economic environment is toxic as interest rates are unbearable at 200% per annum. A clinic in its infancy cannot withstand such alarming interest rates, especially considering that medical centres can start to realise profits after at least 12 months of operation.

In 2021, the association of private medical and dental medical practitioners, MDPPZA, applied for agricultural land straight to the President of Zimbabwe and the response was issued within 72 hours. The President instructed the Lands minister to expeditiously consider medical practitioners on land allocation.

The ministers of State were invited into the fray. Some practitioners have acquired their agricultural land, while others have their applications under consideration. We are optimistic that all those who applied for agricultural land will get it as instructed by the President. Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Masvingo provinces are cooperating with the medical practitioners in identifying vacant or underutilised land in their respective provinces.

If all ministers would take the President’s advice or instructions seriously, then our country would hastily develop as the Head of State is a man of action. Those who stand in his way should not be entertained at all. Medical practitioners are desperately in need of both business and farm lands.

Let us all build our country. It needs you and me. Your efforts are needed as well!

 

 

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