Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Government insists that priority will be given to health workers currently working as volunteers


The Ministry of Health has maintained that health workers who are currently working as volunteers will be given first priority in the recruitment of the 11,200 health personnel.

The Zambia Medical Association last week expressed displeasure over the government’s plans to give first priority to health personnel who are currently working as volunteers in health facilities.

Ministry Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Professor Luckson Kasonka says it will be illogical and unfair for the government to ignore people who are already working in various facilities because their skills are far better than those who have no experience in health sector.

Professor Kasonka has explained that there are many qualified health personnel who were engaged by the previous government but were not put on payroll due to a lack of resources.

The decision by the government to prioritize volunteers in the recruitment of health personnel has angered the Zambia Medical Association.

Recently, Health minister Sylvia Masebo stated that government would prioritize individuals volunteering in health facilities in the recruitment of 11,000 health personnel.

But Zambia Medical Association General Secretary Kaumba Roy Tolopu said doctors would not allow the government to arm-twist them in providing free service by taking the approach of prioritizing volunteers in the recruitment process of the health personnel’s.

Dr. Tolopu said ZMA found the expectation from the government that medical personnel worked and risked their lives without protection and remuneration to be unreasonable. He said Doctors were a precious resource, and the Government needed to immediately recognize them as such.

Dr. Tolopu has appealed to the government to expedite the process of promotions and recruitment of healthcare professionals, to address the huge human resource deficit in healthcare delivery

“In order to put the nation on the fast track to development there is need to address the huge human resource deficit in healthcare delivery,” he said.

Meanwhile, Health Minister, Slyvia Masebo has said that the human resource shortage facing the health sector would be resolved with the employment of 11, 200 personnel.

Speaking when she toured Arthur Davies Children’s Hospital in Ndola, Ms. Masebo assured that soon human resource shortages and displacement would be dealt with.

She said the issue of some health workers being forced to work in a department that was not their specialty due to shortages of staff would be addressed through the employment of the 11, 200 staff.

“The employment of 11, 200 would address the challenge of shortage of human resource and staff displacement, all this would be dealt with,” she said.


  1. No issue here. Medical Association is being unreasonable. How do you not prioritize someone who has even been giving service for free?

  2. ZMA president’s argument is laughable and lacks logic or common sense.
    The practice of hiring those already in the system has always been there.
    The issue here is that the volunteers have more experience. But the learned daughter seems to fail to understand this.

  3. How does one become a volunteer? I’m asking this question because my you cousin has failed even to get a volunteer position…in short even to volunteer there’s nepotism.

  4. Good question @Deja Vu. On the face of it it strikes me that these could be individuals who did not object to working for free. However, it could be, from what you indicate, that there is a pattern to that particular madness.

  5. Or it’s ruse to show that there are 11,000 jobs which are not there. The cover will be WE ONLY ENGAGED THE VOLUNTEERS. Just thinking.

  6. Firstly, there’s nothing wrong with the approach of employing volunteers first. This is commendable if only govt can avail where those voluntary works are available on your website or other media for people to apply. Secondly, be aware of the danger that lies with the private sector. We all know how the private sector is hungry for profits. They will employ volunteers for endless months or years without pay, citing that’s what the government is also doing. My advise to the govt is, don’t unleash the animal you may not be able to control without putting proper labour matters in place. Finally, information minister should explain clearly why this sudden selective deployment approach which was not communicated before Jan 22 and the plan on how to absorb the rest in the health industry.

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