Council’s drive to recruit nurses stalls

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THE Bulawayo City Council’s move to recruit nurses for its understaffed clinics is hanging in the balance due to lack of funding.

Council has been pushing for recruitment of nurses at its clinics across the city after residents raised concerns over poor service.

Bulawayo deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube said council was still working on the budget.

“We have not hired any staff yet in clinics and we are still working on the budget,” Ncube told Sunday Southern Eye.

Magwegwe clinic was said to be the worst affected by the staff shortages.

Residents have registered their displeasure over the poor service from council clinics.

“The shortage of nurses is affecting service delivery because we are not getting appropriate services. More staff should be employed at the clinics.

“We are forced to queue for hours waiting for attention,” said Solomon Chimedza, a Magwegwe resident.

Earlier this year, the council’s health services department revealed staffing challenges crippling the operations of clinics.

Municipal clinics are operating at less than 50% staffing capacity, according to the council’s health department.

Council reports indicate that most council clinics are now largely manned by nurses on locum.

Over the years, Zimbabwe has experienced a mass exodus of health workers to countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia due to the collapse of the local economy.

Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, who is also the Health minister, has been trying to force stringent rules to stop the exodus of health workers amid indications that 4000 nurses left Zimbabwe since 2021.

Chiwenga’s restrictive measures include withholding of clearances that nurses need to secure jobs abroad.

The World Health Organisation this year put Zimbabwe on its ‘red list’ of countries that have suffered the most from skills flight in the health sector.

Source – Newsday