By Staff Reporter
Zimbabwean nurses and doctors have expressed despair after the World Health Organisation (WHO) banned the recruitment of health professionals from Zimbabwe.
In an interview, Zimbabwe Professional Nurses Union (ZPNU) secretary-general Douglas Chikobvu said the massive brain drain in the health sector is due to poor salaries.
“As it stands, the future of Zimbabwean nurses set to leave for greener pastures has been dealt a big blow. The government has been sort of abusive in how (it is) handling the plight of nurses.
“Instead of addressing the root causes, (it is) coming up with a raft of measures to tie our already impoverished and starving nurses. The reason for the massive brain drain is due to measly wages. What we all expected the government to do was to swiftly address bread and butter issues by awarding nurses a living wage in US dollars,” said Chikobvu
Following the move by WHO, the United Kingdom placed Zimbabwe on the Red List which means that active recruitment is not permitted from the southern African country.
Active international recruitment in the code is defined as the process by which UK health and social care employers target individuals to market UK employment opportunities, with the intention of recruiting to a role in the UK health or social care sector.
It includes both physical or virtual targeting, and whether or not these actions lead to substantive employment.
According to the latest statistics by the UK’s Office of National Statistics, at least 3 000 Zimbabwean health professionals left the country for the UK in the past two years.