Harare Council health workers resign to join private sector

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THERE is a massive exodus of medical staff employed by the Harare City Council amid reports that the ‘brain drain’ is a result of the emergence new players in the medical sector, Zim Morning Post has learnt.

The new players’ invasion of the sector coincides with the COVID-19 outbreak and Zim Morning Posts understands the majority of those who resigned were equipped with special training on how to handle COVID-19 cases.

“Since the COVID-19 outbreak, we have seen staff members from our hospitals and clinics resigning en masse. They are not tendering the stipulated three months notice of resignation but rather they are resigning with immediate effect. We are not sure why they are resigning, some are scared to be on the frontline despite the fact that they are given protective clothing,” an impeccable source within the city fathers’ management structures told Zim Morning Post.

“We are, however, made to understand that some were lured by lucrative renumeration offered by new private players who we hear pay in United States dollars,” the source added.

Zim Morning Post understands that most of the staffers received in-house training of working in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), early this year.

A few days ago some private players placed advertisements in different media outlets and social media platforms inviting medical practitioners to join them and work in the frontline of COVID-19 cases.

Prominent among them, was Trauma Centre Borrowdale owner Vivek Solanki whose advert went viral on various social media platforms.

On Wednesday, he also confirmed on Twitter that he was treating COVID-19 patients.

A few weeks ago, Catholic Sisters of the Little Company of Mary (owners of St Annes Hospital in Harare), also entered an agreement with trustees of Solidarity Trust Zimbabwe wherein the facility will serve as a COVID-19 response care centre.

This development meant that the 100-bed private hospital had to recruit medical staff with ability to work in ICU and handle COVID-19 cases.

At the same time, Arundel Hospital has also flighted an adverts looking for suitably qualified and experienced candidates to fill various positions on fixed term and Locum basis.

“Arundel hospital is an equal opportunity employer and offers competitive conditions of employment which will be disclosed to short listed candidates,” the hospital said in a flier.

To date, Harare City Council run Wilkins Hospital and Beatrice Road Infectious Diseases Hospital were the major dedicated COVID-19 care centres in the capital.

Reached for comment, City council spokesperson Michael Chideme said no official resignation has been handed to the council office.

Although authorities claim that they are yet to receive official resignation letter, the development has been confirmed by co-workers and some members in the management structures. – Zim Morning Post