Zimbabwe to Introduce Law Criminalizing Medics Recruitment From Abroad

A woman gets her blood pressure checked at a rural clinic on the outskirts of Harare, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020.InternationalIndiaAfricaThe country is experiencing a severe economic crisis characterized by high inflation that resulted in a significant decrease in wages. Low wages, among other conditions, forced many Zimbabwean health workers to leave the country for better job opportunities abroad.Zimbabwe plans to introduce a law that would make it illegal for other states to recruit its health personnel, said the country’s Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, as reported by the local media.According to the vice-president, who is also the health minister, this decision aims to address a significant shortage of healthcare professionals in Zimbabwe that was caused by their mass exodus to other nations in recent years. The staff shortage has been a long-standing problem of the country’s healthcare system.He noted that the loss of health workers can be comparable to human trafficking. This dire situation forced the government to take concrete steps in order to stop “brain drain,” he underlined, saying that those who are depriving Zimbabwe of its human capital will face stiffer penalties.”If one deliberately recruits and makes the country suffer, that’s a crime against humanity. The people are dying in hospitals because there are no nurses and doctors. That must be taken seriously,” Chiwenga said, adding: “Zimbabwe frowns at this heinous crime which is also a grave violation of human rights.”According to media reports, since February 2021, over 4000 health workers, including nurses and doctors, have left the country. Many of the country’s health employees were reportedly dissatisfied with salaries and working conditions, claiming that the government failed to provide “meaningful cost of living” wage adjustments amid surging inflation.One of the main destinations for medical personnel from Zimbabwe is the UK, which is also battling with staff shortages in its healthcare system. However, last month, the African country was placed on the red list, which denotes those states that are “vulnerable for availability of health workers.” This development made it impossible for the UK to actively recruit health and social care workers from Zimbabwe.AfricaNigerian Doctors Open Up on Being ‘Exploited’ by UK Medical Firm11 October 2022, 14:34 GMT


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