January 2017 theHerald; Government has frozen medical doctors’ employment with effect from next month, as the posts have been filled up, prompting the class completing its internship next month to demand their open practice certificates for them to search for employment elsewhere. Although he could not immediately give more details on the issue, Acting Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care Dr Robert Mudyiradima confirmed the development and said Government was seized with the matter.
The Herald has it on good authority that most Government posts are now filled and institutions can no longer employ the doctors unless there were promotions, resignations, retirement or deaths.
Last month, Deputy Minister of Health and Child Care Aldrin Musiiwa told Parliament that the current patient to doctor ratio was one per 250 000 patients.
The ideal scenario is one doctor per 1 000 patients. The newly-qualified doctors’ challenge is compounded by that they cannot get their practising certificates before working for a Government institution for a year.
This effectively means they are un- able to seek employment anywhere after completing their studies. The doctors’ representatives have since petitioned all relevant Government health institutions, demanding that they be given their practising certificates soon after completing their internship to enable them to look for employment elsewhere.
According to the current policy on medical students, after completing their studies, they are required to go for a mandatory two-year internship after which they are given a limited practising certificate valid for a year.
During the one year, the doctor must work in a Government hospital.
“In light of the failure by Government to provide vacancies for the doctors who would have completed their internship, we the Zimbabwe Hospital Doctors’ Association on behalf of our membership, are petitioning Government and other relevant institutions as required by Section 44 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe to respect, protect, promote and fulfil our members’ right to practise the profession by completely removing the third year in which a doctor operates with a limited practising certificate and start issuing an open practising certificate upon completion of internship,” reads part of the petition.