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Friday, March 31, 2023

Stakeholders move to curb brain drain in health sector

By Tichaona Kurewa

THE Health Service Board says it has completed the second phase of the comprehensive health labour market analysis of the country’s health workforce to inform strategies that can be implemented to curtail brain drain and address other challenges in the sector.

The board, working with the Ministry of Health and Child Care, completed the exercise targeting medical and nursing specialities in 2021 which then recommended a comprehensive analysis targeting the entire workforce in the sector.

A two-day validation workshop of the comprehensive HLMA for Zimbabwe started in Victoria Falls this Monday, with support from the World Health Organisation.

While addressing participants at the workshop, HSB chairperson, Dr Paulinus Sikosana noted that the board was now on a drive to develop an investment case for the health workforce education, employment and retention.

“The focus of the Health Service Board is to base its contribution towards the attainment of Vision 2030 on evidence and persistent planning and working towards the achievement of health sector goals as prescribed in the NDS1 (2021 – 2025). I am thus looking forward to the tabling of validated evidence-based findings and results of this HLMA to inform the development of Zimbabwe’s human resources for a health strategy which will effectively address the needs, demands, concerns and challenges currently confronting the Health Sector,” he said.

“The implementation of the recommendations of the HLMA requires the government, the private health sector and health development partners to work together to strengthen the Zimbabwean health system for the common good of our people as we thrive to offer first-class health service to the Zimbabwean population.”

The World Health Organisation indicated that Zimbabwe was on track in adopting the HLMA as it has worked in more than five countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia and Namibia.

“HLMA is the best method to use as it has proved to be effective in other countries and that’s why the WHO is supporting the initiative which will certainly inform how health delivery can be improved in the country,” noted Dr Stanley Midzi, a WHO representative.

In recent years, Zimbabwe’s health professionals have been in demand worldwide, living a yawning gap in the local health delivery system which has prompted the government to intervene.

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