The Zimbabwean government has announced a set of measures meant to address the current massive brain drain facing the health sector. Nurses, doctors and other healthcare staff have been leaving for green pastures at record numbers. For years the government has been embroiled in labour disputes with healthcare workers who say they are not earning enough. The government at one point fired all striking nurses. The result has been that scores of healthcare workers have left for countries such as the UK where. Demand is high everywhere given the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measures are meant to stem this tide. Some of the measures include setting up a committee to look into:

  • Mechanisms to accelerate provision of non-monetary incentives. Why they will not just pay monetary incintives is beyond me.
  • Come up with measures to improve remuneration of Tutors. That’s right, the government is in pay disputes with practically all civil servants including the Tutors who train the healthcare staff. Again they already know the pay demants of these tutors why not engage them directly?
  • Judicious adjustment of monetary incentives. Again what does this even mean? Do they need a comittee when workers already have unions and we have an Apex council?
  • Addressing the disparity between the urban and rural health personnel in order to attact personnel in rural areas. This is begining to sound like a broken record but this is a welll known issue that should have been solved by now.

This will probably not work

Personally, I don’t understand why they need a committee to fix this. A committee is just a bureaucratic step meant to delay doing what needs to be done. If the government wants to stop the bleeding. They need to offer nurses, doctors and healthcare workers a better deal. It’s that simple otherwise this is all just an act meant to give the impression that they are doing something important when it will not yield any results on the ground. Naturally if this committee thing fails they will find something or someone to blame. The government is never short on scapegoats.

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