Government to spend K52bn on expatriate medical workers

Health Minister Kapembwa Simbao

GOVERNMENT says it has set aside K52 billion for the recruitment of expatriate medical personnel in the country.

Minister of Health Kapembwa Simbao said the medical expatriates to be employed this year will be part of the 2,150 trained health workers the Treasury has given authority to recruit.

Mr Simbao said this in Lusaka on Thursday when he appeared before the House of Chiefs to explain staff shortages in the country’s health institutions and the measures Government is taking to beef up the number of qualified medical personnel at all health institutions.

He said Government is concerned about the shortage of trained health workers, and is doing everything possible to employ more staff to help meet the demand for healthcare services.

Mr Simbao said Government will ensure all hospitals and clinics being built across the country are adequately staffed.

“Staff recruitment is a matter that is currently being given utmost attention by Government. This year, my ministry has been given authority to employ 2,150 health personnel. In addition, we have set aside K52 billion in this year’s budget which will go towards the recruitment of expatriates to try to meet the demand for health services.

“This money has to be used, otherwise it will go back to the Treasury,” he said.

Mr Simbao said the Ministry of Health currently has an establishment of 8,000 nurses against the required 23,000, and 990 doctors against the required 2,300.

He said Government has put in place effective interventions to improve staffing levels in the health sector.

Mr Simbao said Government has rehabilitated and opened all the old training institutions, which were closed, and has started training more health personnel to ease the shortage of staff.

“We are training close to 1,000 nurses and about 100 doctors per year.

In addition, we are considering training 7,000 community health workers in the first phase and another 14,000 in the second phase.

This will help us to improve staffing in the health sector.

“We have also opened the Ndola Medical School at the Ndola Central Hospital, where we will in June this year start training medical personnel with an initial number of 50 students. We are hoping that in the next five years, we will ease the staff shortage in the health sector,” he said.

Mr Simbao assured the nation that Government will continue putting in place more measures aimed at helping improve standards in the health sector.

[Zambia Daily Mail]

17 Comments

  1. 1 flag al

    l bet this place will be swarming with people living in diaspora slamming this govt move when they themselves are earning a living outside the country.Living outside the country has made me more compassionate and toleremnt of foreigners -So welcome to all you who will be recruited

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  2. 2 flag marypeterson21

    If you currently have pre-existing conditions like me that have prevented you from being able to qualify for health insurance for at least six months you will have coverage options under new health care. Check “Penny Health Insurance” to find how to get quality insurance for dollars.

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  3. 3 flag Nostradamus

    #2 what are you trying to tell us? Can’t you just train as a nurse and go and get a job n Zambia, that selling heath insurance to people who don’t understand you? If your family has health problems, that is not everybody’s problems.

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  4. 4 flag webman

    good! now i can go back to zambia as an expatriate with all the conditions and perks!!! inducement allowances: housing, entertainment, inducement, education, leave and travel, car and fuel…. want to hear more? this is really good news!!!

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  5. 5 flag Kuku Compound

    Another Policy Blunder.What is wrong with these so called leaders?Hiring expatriats is not a sustainable solution mwe bantu imwe.That is why kuya bebeleeeeeeeeeeeeee

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  6. 6 flag Real Chintomfwa

    why not recruit locally first? Am sure its much cheaper.By the way, am still waiting to be put on payroll after returning from unpaid leave 2 years ago!
    What can i do to get my pay when the minister says the money is there?

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  7. 7 flag Nubian Princess

    Can that money be used to staff and stock our local hospitals and hold on to our own doctors instead of bringing in expartriates?

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  8. 8 flag joyce

    thieves. another way of siphoning money out.

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  9. 9 flag nshilimubemba

    Zambia doesnt need those expartriate doctors , there are so many Zambian doctors who have been frustrated by govt, hense have left Zambia to go where they are respected and paidwell pay our Zambian doctors you have them come back

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  10. 10 flag Umuntu

    I too know a number of Zambian doctors who left Zambia because they were not paid well. Work conditions were bad. That is something we need to fix and bring our doctors. A foreigner is a foreigner no matter how much you pay them. They will go away.

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  11. 11 flag Kavundula

    Simbao have you really given serious thought to the problem of Medical Staff? I don’t think so. Please stop wasting our resources.

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  12. 12 flag Peace Maker

    10th blunder of Zambian government. Its all about good perks and all. After all some Zambian doctors are not even well looked after if not all. You can have your tumabillions of kwacha we shall never come. Mwailasha. I end here!

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  13. 13 flag From Lya With Love.

    Calling a spade a spade, I think its time we stopped using the term ‘EXPATRIATE’ and simply say ‘foreign workers’ as is the case in most Countries around the world, including here in UK. This is because it rhymes with ‘EXPERTS’ which these foreigner workers being brought in are not. Its just free movement of people seeking greener pastures as enshrined under human rights. Excessive use of the term ‘expatriate’ is a carry-on from the colonial days when the European wanted to maintain dominance and subdue the local people by paying them peanuts. Those days are long gone.

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  14. 14 flag Danny Petrescu

    So called expatriates are ill-qualified Congolese doctors and medical officers and cheap Chinese, Indian and Cuban doctors!

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  15. 15 flag Bp

    Their would rather pay foreigh doctors million than their own.this country suffers from low self esteem

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  16. 16 flag pf government

    @5, who told you that it is a sustainable soution? the minister has stated that this is a stop gap measure and that the government is focussing on increasing the training of local staff. any nation of people who think has no problem with that approach, botswana did it and many other nations do it all the time. as one blogger said, you have to be pf to understand nonsense.

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