Coalition of African National Medical Associations
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE MASS DISMISSAL OF MEDICAL DOCTORS IN ZIMBABWE
The continuing dismissal of doctors by the Zimbabwean Government over their protest on grievances which relate to conditions of service and other legitimate demands has come to the attention of the Coalition of African National Medical Associations (CANMA).
We have on record that over 500 doctors have been discharged at present, and this exercise is still ongoing. This unfortunate development is quite worrisome, particularly as a critical part of any health system is its workforce with healthcare personnel being the wheels that run the healthcare system and provide necessary healthcare services to the populace for sustainable socio-economic development.
The African healthcare situation has long faced difficulties related to the chronic shortage of her health workforce, most especially due to the insufficient supply and retention of doctors in the African continent. The African situation is so critical with evident ominous effect.
In 2006, there was a global shortage of 4.25 million health workers according to the World Health Organization. According to this 2006 WHO report, of the 57 nations facing a dire shortage of health workers, 36 were in sub-Saharan Africa.
Every year thousands of qualified doctors and other health professionals leave Africa for better remunerative offers and better working conditions.
In Zimbabwe in particular, it has been reported that the flight of doctors has been so overwhelming to prompt the unfortunate contemplation of recruitment of Cuban doctors by the Zimbabwean government, to fill the gap, an act that undermines the genuine efforts of the coalition of all national medical associations in Africa (CANMA) to convert the overwhelming brain drain of doctors from Africa to brain gain for continental development.
It is in view of the foregoing disturbing picture that CANMA finds very odd and antithetical to health system development, the latest action of the Zimbabwean government, dismissing over 500 of its medical personnel.
Accordingly, CANMA strongly condemns this action and urges the Zimbabwean government to reverse its dismissal/discharge order and seek more amicable means of getting back to the negotiation table with the aggrieved medical doctors and their professional groups and unions.
In this regard, CANMA is very willing to partner with the government of Zimbabwe to ensure speedy resolution of this impasse and strengthen future partnerships for the sake of the Zimbabwean health system and her people.
Dr Oşahon Enabulele
29th November 2019.
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