A total of 2 000 nurses will this year be recruited into the public health sector as part of efforts to improve staffing levels at major health institutions. Health chiefs wanted 10 000 nurses, but Treasury acceded to 2 000 posts as it attempts to maintain a recruitment freeze meant to keep the Government wage bill in check.
About 800 other nurses were recruited in 2016.
Secretary for Health and Child Care Dr Gerald Gwinji told The Sunday Mail, “Last year, Treasury gave us the green light to recruit nurses up to the level of establishment, which we did, and I think the available places to fill the establishment then were something like 792.
“So, we filled those up, and we continue to fill them as people retire, and get out of service by age. I must say, though, that this time, as we consider issues like doctors’ posts, we are also considering nurses’ posts.
“Treasury was kind enough to say, ‘Yes, we think we can make an adjustment; try and accommodate 2 000 more nurses.’ So, processes to do that have already started in terms of the computations, and this has been communicated through the Bipartite Negotiating Forum, again, to the nurses themselves.”
Zimbabwe Nurses’ Association secretary-general Mr Enoch Dongo commented: “We have been given 2 000 posts, but we have also made it clear that those who are at home should also be considered so that the system absorbs those who are on the streets.
“The 2 000 posts are just a drop in the ocean as we are short of 8 500 nurses as a country. About 4 000 qualified nurses do not have jobs; therefore, we urge Government to come up with a policy that caters for jobless nurses.”
2 000 nursing posts up for grabs