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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Exodus of health workers slows down    

By Tichaona Kurewa

The Health Service Board (HSB) has revealed that the brain drain in the health sector had significantly decreased in 2022 compared to last year, indicating that various interventions by the government to incentivise health workers are paying off.

To curb the exodus of health workers from the public sector, the government instituted various incentives, including reviewing health-specific allowances, availing more accommodation facilities, provision of service vehicles and access to duty-free vehicles by health workers. 

A four-day Health Service Board (HSB) strategic plan (2021-2025) review workshop is underway in Victoria Falls, where it emerged this Wednesday that government interventions in the health sector are bearing fruit. 

“As of December 2021, 2 910 health workers left the public health sector. Some have joined the private sector some have left the country for various parts of the world including South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Australia and the United Kingdom. These are composed of 180 doctors and about 1 700 nurses. As of 4 November 2022, we lost 1 538 health workers composed of 99 doctors and about 962 nurses who left the public sector, which is a reduction from what transpired the previous year,” Health Service Board executive director, Mr Angelbert Mbengwa said.

HSB employees pledged to contribute significantly to the board to attain ISO certification and feed into the attainment of vision 2030.

“We will do all we can to ensure that the board attains ISO certification and continues to deliver as expected,” an HSB employee, Ms Netsai Chizema said.

Another HSB staffer, Mr Edward Muposha noted, “As HSB staff, we will ensure that all deliverables expected of the board are met so that health service delivery continues to run smoothly in the country.”

In recent years, Zimbabwe’s health professionals have been in demand worldwide, leaving a yawning gap in the local health delivery system, prompting the government to institute various interventions.

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