Health Workers Scoff At Government Trivial Offer

Zimbabwean health workers yesterday scoffed at the government’s offer saying their employer was focusing on trivialities.

The government has offered non-monetary incentives such as personnel accommodation, transport, vehicle loans, provision of food and WiFi facilities to reduce brain drain withinside the health sector.

Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said an inter-ministerial committee has identified measures to boost up the availability of the incentives.

However, Zimbabwe Senior Doctors Association president Shingai Nyaguse accused the authorities of circumventing the salary issue, which he said was the actual problem that was causing the brain drain.

Nyaguse tweeted on Thursday:

"We remain concerned with suggestions that WiFi and canteens are incentives that will resolve the ongoing challenges.

"The employer has been ignoring the elephants in the room, which includes issues of fair and commensurate remuneration, an enabling, conducive working environment and medical insurance for healthcare workers. The lack of consultative dialogue is glaring.

Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enoch Dongo said:

"It’s the employer’s responsibility to give Wi-Fi and canteen at workplaces as a courtesy, not allowance or incentive.

"The government offer was not supposed to be publicised since it’s their responsibility to do that. It is obvious the so-called incentive will not stop nurses from going outside the country whatsoever.

Dongo highlighted the fact that health workers need a living salary and improvement of the working conditions. He said they have other needs such as schools expenses for their kids that can not be paid for through trivial incentives.

Doctors and nurses have long gone on strike on numerous occasions since 2017 to pressure the government to review their salaries, but government turned a deaf ear and at one point fired all those who had striked.

Sydney Chako

Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Sytech Learning Academy. From Junior Secondary School to Tertiary Level Engineering Mathematics and Engineering Science.

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