CWGH Workers’ Day Statement: Government must reward health workers.
As the World celebrates the Workers’ Day today, the Community Working Group on
Health (CWGH) calls upon the government to remunerate the health workers well and
improve their working conditions to curb the current brain drain that has quickened the
collapse of the sector. Let us also make sure that health workers are provided with all
the necessary tools of the trade, health institutions are well equipped with the essential
medicines and modern medical equipment.
One of the major challenges facing the Zimbabwean’s public health care system is brain
drain. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists have left and continue to leave the country to
destinations like South Africa, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia to name just
a few. In fact, Zimbabwean health professionals are found in nearly all countries,
including non-traditional destinations such as Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Spain.
The country has failed to stabilize the brain drain, and some health facilities are
operating with skeletal staff due to lack of staff thereby overwhelming the few health
workers that have remained resulting in staff burnout and low staff morale. Health care
workers (HCWs) continue to be trained but fail to fill the posts established in the 1980s,
let alone the posts and establishment required to deal with the current population,
disease epidemiology and health and development targets. They have continued to
enrich other establishments and countries while the gap they leave in the country’s
institutions continues to glare. The current economic downturn characterized by the high
cost of food prices as well as spiraling inflation has unfortunately worsened the
As we celebrate May 1, we must remember that many workers are being injured or
dying in avoidable work-related incidents. The CWGH expresses its solidarity with all
workers in formal, informal, rural, urban and domestic employment in Zimbabwe.
Itai Rusike (Mr)
Community Working Group on Health