Govt holding medical doctors at ransom

Zimbabwe doctors protesting over poor salaries

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Doctors have expressed concern over the government’s introduction of a burdensome process which health practitioners need to follow to attain recommendations.

Those who would have found jobs overseas are now required by the Ministry of Health and Child Care to pay US$200 upfront for the application of a “Certificate of Good Standing” which must be signed by two people and approved by a third

An anonymous doctor who is in the process of leaving the country for the United Kingdom told ZimLive that he knew over a dozen friends who are also ready to leave.

The government has resorted to blocking health workers from leaving the country by imposing stringent conditions.

Many healthcare workers, including nurses, are waiting for lockdown regulations to be eased so they can leave for greener pastures. They’ve already written the required exams. An exodus is coming

Previously, the doctors were only required to obtain the Certificate of Good Standing which had to be signed by a senior doctor with five years experience and a senior member of the profession, provincial medical director or medical superintendent they last practised with in the previous six months.

Early this year, the clearance letter issued by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Council of Zimbabwe cost Z$1,500.

Zimbabwean doctors have since 2019 embarked on two prolonged protests over paltry salaries which have been as low as Z$9,450 (US$115) per month when their counterparts in South Africa earn an average of US$4000.

A service level agreement between Harare and Pretoria bars South Africa hospitals and surgeries from employing Zimbabwe doctors.

–Pindula & Zimbabwe Observer

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