ZIMBABWE is on the verge of a massive brain drain in its health care sector when the Covid-19 pandemic is over, public health specialist and Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) secretary general, Normal Matara has warned.
Matara was speaking to the media at a Voluntary Media Council of Zimbabwe (VMCZ) workshop conducted in Harare, Tuesday.
Zimbabwe’s health delivery system has severely deteriorated, a situation worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Public health care professionals have constantly been up in arms with government as they demand an urgent address of their concerns; improved and safe working conditions, better remuneration.
A number of nurses and doctors in the public health care sector have made an exodus to different countries in search for greener pastures.
A majority of the few who remain are on their way out awaiting the relaxation of travel restrictions put in place to curb the spread of Covid-19.
To qualify for employment in the United Kingdom medical sector, doctors practicing in Zimbabwe have to write a total of two Professional and Linguistics Assessments Board (PLAB) examinations.
The closest venue of the first examination is located in South Africa with the second and final written in the UK.
Some doctors have gone as far as Nigeria and …, after finding the South African venue fully booked to 2022 mostly by Zimbabwean doctors.
Matara said once countries relax travelling restrictions and opened up their boarders, medical professionals were going to leave for better paying jobs.
“There is an issue of health workers migration happening in the country.
He added that government has made it difficult for doctors to seek employment overseas by imposing stringent conditions for one to attain a ‘Certificate of Good Standing’.
Previously the ‘Certificate of Good Standing’ was signed for by a senior doctor with over five years experience that they had practiced with in the previous six months but in 2020 government stated that on top of this a Director of Curative Services in the Ministry of Health must add his signature before it is again signed by the permanent secretary for approval.
The application was altered adding a section that questions if one has participated in any industrial action before.
Even more so, the certificate has been granted to very few people.
The move has blocked medical practitioners job prospects in other countries that award better remuneration.