HEALTH workers yesterday said intimidation by government without addressing their welfare concerns would not work, adding that this was the main reason the country was experiencing brain drain in the sector. The exodus of health workers has since crippled the health sector. Zimbabwe Nurses Association president Enock Dongo said nurses had no option, but to leave as they were operating in a hostile environment where they could not even air their grievances. “The major cause of the brain drain is that government is paying way less than the private sector.
The second factor is intimidation, where the working environment is no longer conducive. Nurses work in fear and have no option except to look for better working environments outside. Things are not moving because of intimidation,” Dongo said. He said Health minister Constantino Chiwenga was not accessible and things were falling apart. “There is a quiet management which does not talk to any worker, leading to many resignations.
Specialised workers like theatre nurses were already few and the diaspora is offering better conditions and wants them. We are losing the remaining senior and experienced nurses, while juniors have no mentorship.” Dongo said the conditions at hospitals were now pathetic, adding that people were failing to get services on time due to shortages of personnel.
Recently, Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals said it was forced to stagger health delivery services due to the massive brain drain. Health Services Board spokesperson Tryfine Dzvukutu said: “Yes, our records indicate that some health workers have left, but we are making strides to ensure quality health services in public health institutions.” Last year, the country lost 2 242 health workers who left for greener pastures compared to 993 in 2020.Newsday.