Zimbabwe: Adjusting conditions for health workers and salaries to reduce brain drain, government says
Local nurses have urged the government to strengthen health workers as part of measures to reduce the massive brain drain that has seen hundreds of health workers leave the country for greener pastures.
In an interview with 263Chat, Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) spokesperson Douglas Chikobvu expressed concern over the continued loss of highly experienced and skilled healthcare professionals due to poor working conditions.
âThis massive exodus has seen most of our health workers move into the diaspora in search of a living wage. new wave of brain drain. Miserable salaries, the dire lack of business tools and poor working conditions, among other aggravating factors, have pushed nurses to leave for the diaspora, âsaid Chikobvu.
Chikobvu pleaded with the government to come up with a financial model that improves working conditions for health workers.
âThe government should come up with a lucrative salary model, fully equip health facilities with state-of-the-art equipment and improve conditions. nurses to seek alternative employers in order to inform their professional prospects and their future. If the government does not institute a series of lucrative and attractive measures to reduce the brain drain, we foresee an imminent health catastrophe, âadded Chikobvu.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA) accused President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration of paying “slave wages”, which the organization blamed for the massive brain drain.
âWhat is needed is to try to balance the two. On the one hand, we have a protocol from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) that says member states should not recruit health workers from other countries where there is a shortage, and on the other hand, we have Zimbabwean health workers who are underpaid and living in poverty, and looking for greener pastures.
âA domestic worker in South Africa earns more than a health worker in Zimbabwe. We have a situation where the government of Zimbabwe cannot pay its workers. It is important that the SADC protocol is revised because we need to balance the interests of workers and that of Sadc, âZCSA President Ngqabutho Mabhena said recently speaking to the media.