Accessibility links

Breaking News

Zimbabwe Health Minister, Short on Funds, Proposes to 'Export' Nurses

Health Minister Henry Madzorera said funding woes are hampering efforts to employ all the nurses coming out of the country's training institutions, so he has proposed to meet international demand for qualified medical staff

Zimbabwean Health Minister Henry Madzorera says government will encourage qualified but unemployed nurses to seek opportunities abroad as Harare for the time being cannot afford to employ them all in the nation's health care system.

The state-controlled Herald newspaper quoted Dr. Madzorera as saying tight budgets are hampering efforts to employ all the nurses coming out of training institutions.

“We might find ourselves with more nurses than we need, making some of those who we train redundant, (which) makes it imperative to enter into a sort of agreement with some of our neighbours who need their services,” he said. “We are thinking about it.”

Madzorerera said nurses interested in working abroad would be given special training to qualify for service in the markets where they are likely to find jobs.

He said countries including the Philippines have adopted this strategy, targeting the US and UK marekts. Remittances sent by nurses abroad benefit the home

The health minister's proposal drew immediate fire. Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo, chairman of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights, told VOA that it is wrong for the government to export nurses when the health care situation at home is still dire.

Madzorera could not be reached for comment on the plan.