The Sunday News
Sunday News Reporter
PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said the Government will improve remuneration and conditions of service for medical practitioners so that their skills are retained in the country.
Writing in his weekly column published in this newspaper, President Mnangagwa said it was important to reward doctors competitively, adding that Government will give land for free to those who wished to set up medical facilities.
“We have to competitively reward our doctors in order to guarantee greater staff retention in our hospitals, and in the country. Many of our doctors continue to leave the country for greener pastures; they are hotly sought after, particularly in the rich West, because of our superior training facilities.
“The Second Republic has to treat in-country medical staff retention as a foremost national goal. More visible and substantive steps will be taken in the near future to improve the working conditions for our medical staff,” he said.
The President pointed out that the doctor to patient ratio in the country remained low. He added that the country was working flat out to ensure that medicine was readily available in the country
“The number of medical practitioners in the country remains unsatisfactorily low. I am told we have 3 777 registered medical practitioners in the country. Of this number, 1 982 are General Medical Officers; 713 are specialists; 250 are dentists, while 627 are interns. We have to boost our medical corps,” he said. The government is also building rural health facilities in both urban and rural areas, with some projects funded through Devolution Funds.
“This programme will continue until every village and community is within reach of a medical facility, for basic health provisioning. Alongside this thrust, we continue to invest in district hospitals until the goal of a fully functional hospital for each district is met. I also wish to see more and more of mobile healthcare services reaching remote communities. We have done that in the past, allowing mobile clinics manned by specialist doctors to reach such historically disadvantaged communities for superior care. As in other sectors, no person and no community should be left behind.”
He said people who wish to set up medical facilities will be provided with land for free, including those who wish to set up medical research facilities, who include returning citizens from the diaspora.
“Accordingly, I am directing Government to identify suitable land across the country on which to develop medical parks. Land should be free to those wishing to set up shop or training facilities. Only that way can we attract more investments in the medical sector.”
He also paid tribute to four medical practitioners who left the country last week to perform cleft lip and cleft palate surgery in Kenya as part of humanitarian work.