Medical posts sit vacant …graduates unemployed

The government requires double the current number of health personnel in its institutions to improve health service delivery, according to the Deputy Minister of Health and Child Welfare Dr Douglas Mombeshora.

Nurses who have finished their training are unable to secure jobs due to the freeze on recruitment.
Nurses who have finished their training are unable to secure jobs due to the freeze on recruitment.

The news comes at a time bonded doctors and nurses who have completed their training cannot be absorbed into the public service because of the freeze on recruitment.

The government announced it had frozen recruitment for financial reasons, leaving those graduating from various institutions unable to secure jobs.

Although no statistics could be made available, Mombeshora said the freeze on recruitment was denting the health delivery system. He said the country needed double the number of current health personnel if the standards of health delivery were to improve.

Dr Mombeshora said the last time the ministry applied to recruit they were allowed to take on 995 with nurses, almost half of the figure they required.

“The issue is not that we do not want to recruit. We have a serious shortfall of personnel in the ministry. We need almost double the number of personnel that we currently have. Most of our rural clinics do not have nurses, while some have closed because of the shortage that we are experiencing.

“The irony is that the nursing schools are churning out graduates who are not being absorbed in to the system to complete their bonding. We have, however, relaxed their conditions by allowing them to look for employment beyond government institutions. Some of them are now working in private hospitals, but they will be still under bonding. There is no need to punish them since it is not their fault,” said Dr Mombeshora.

Deputy Minister of Public Service Andrew Langa said the government was aware that its freeze on recruitment was creating unemployment

“The main problem is that of resources. We would have employed all those we trained as nurses and other professionals, but because of a constricted fiscus space, we find our hands tied. Once our financial muscle is stable we are going to increase employment.”

Deputy Minister Langa said his ministry was concerned about the declining standards of the country’s health delivery system caused by an acute shortage of trained staff.

He lamented the lack of adequate financial resources saying all the ministries were operating with skeletal personnel making it difficult to evaluate those that were incompetent.

Post published in: News

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