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Zimbabwe battles health sector brain drain

By Nyasha Chuma

A inter-ministerial committee set-up to identify the cause of brain drain in the health sector has called for a judicious adjustment of monetary benefits to stem the continued migration of health professionals.

This comes as the supply of health workers remains low and has been worsened by their migration to developed countries.

Zimbabwe, as with many other African states, has been battling to compete economically with industrialised countries in the same health labour market.

Addressing a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had considered and approved the report of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Stemming the Brain Drain in the Health Sector.

“Cabinet wishes to inform the public that the Inter-Ministerial Committee identified the causes of the brain in the Health sector. To stem the brain drain a Committee was therefore setup to look holistically look into the following issues: I. Mechanisms to accelerate provision of non-monetary incentives, such as staff accommodation, transport, vehicle loans, canteens/cafeterias; and wifi- facilities connectivity; II. Measures to improve the remuneration of Tutors in Nurses Training Colleges and administration of Nurses Training Colleges; III. Judicious adjustment of monetary benefits; and IV. Addressing the disparity between the urban and rural health personnel incentives in order to attract personnel to rural areas,” Mutsvangwa said.

She added that Zimbabwe continues to pursue bilateral agreements with destination countries for the country’s health professionals within the World Health Organisation framework