A highly placed source in the health ministry said the committee, together with the permanent secretary’s office, would identify central issues influencing the negative attitudes of healthcare workers towards patients and their work.
“The exodus of senior healthcare professionals, which peaked in the mid 2000s, had the long-term effect of creating a practice and work ethic gap whose effects are now being experienced across the board,” reads a letter written to the committee’s leadership by acting secretary for health and childcare Gibson Mhlanga on April 1.
The media is awash with complaints from the public about the bad attitude shown by healthcare providers and the quality of services in general.
In April, the team drafted and fine-tuned a plan of action, surveyed the situation and reviewed in-service training for possible inclusion of an ethics module in training programmes.
“Training and implementation of the approved interventions by the permanent secretary will start on May 5, targeting chief executive officers, directors, tutors and lecturers at health colleges, clinical directors, doctors, nurses down to nurse aids, paramedics (ambulance teams), general hands and everybody working at a health institution,” reveals the letter.
Some of the suggested topics include the health ministry’s vision, mission and core values; the caring professions, work and commitment; the law of contract; the patients’ charter; professional negligence; attitude and attitude change; social cultural dynamics and strikes.
The committee will also work on a way to monitor and evaluate the impact of its work in changing attitudes within healthcare.
“The main outcome is to get improved client satisfaction through a courteous or client sensitive, ethical and professional service delivery manner,” reads part of the letter.
“Though I am not part of the team, work has already begun. It does not have deadlines but the goal is to reach to all health workers,” confirmed Mhlanga.
The committee, set up in March, is led by University of Zimbabwe’s College of Health Sciences associate professor Val Robertson, and two others identified as A Maruta and A Mashamba. It is also composed of UZ Institute of Continuing Health Education director Chris Samkange, nursing services director Cynthia Chasokela, Parirenyatwa Central Hospital clinical director Sydney Makarau, Marondera Hospital matron J Hungwa and an R Katumba.Post published in: Health